Nuclear Medicine Technologist Job Overview The role of the nuclear medicine technologist has become more challenging ...
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Job Overview
The role of the nuclear medicine technologist has become more challenging over the past decade as demand has grown for complex nuclear medicine procedures such as PET scans and myocardial perfusion scans. In addition to performing diagnostic imaging tests for healthcare providers, nuclear medicine technologist jobs also involve administering radiopharmaceuticals for the treatment of disease. Unlike many technician jobs, nuclear medicine technologists spend most of their time working directly with patients and other healthcare professionals. Typical duties a nuclear medicine technologist might perform on a daily basis include:
- Taking a medical history from a patient before performing a procedure
- Injecting radioactive agents known as "tracers" into a patient's vein or intravenous line
- Performing complex diagnostic tests and scans using sensitive equipment
- Administering calibrated doses of active radiopharmaceutical agents to treat various tumours and diseases
- Cleaning and maintaining machinery and equipment
- Collaborating with radiologists and other healthcare providers to determine diagnostic imaging needs
- Carefully documenting all aspects of an encounter with a patient including procedures, dosages and findings
- Educating patients on how to care for themselves after receiving a diagnostic test or procedure
- Ensuring a safe environment for patients and other healthcare workers
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Job Education Requirements
All nuclear medicine technologists are required to complete either a four-year bachelor's degree program in health sciences or a two-year diploma program in nuclear medicine technology. These programs must be approved by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). In addition, graduates must successfully pass national registration examinations and fulfill clinical requirements set forth by the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) to be eligible to work in the field. This profession requires continuing education throughout the course of one's career.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Job Market
The unemployment rate for nuclear medicine technologists in Canada is extremely low, and growth in this field is expected to continue at a higher than average rate. The aging population combined with pressure from health advocacy groups has led to an increased demand for nuclear imaging studies.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Job Salary Information
The average hourly pay for nuclear medicine technologist jobs is C$26.78 for an entry-level technician. The average hourly rate for a highly skilled nuclear medicine technologist with 5 or more years of experience is C$44.82, according to statistics compiled by the CAMRT. Other factors that affect pay for nuclear medicine technologist jobs include enhanced credentials, geographic location and the type and size of institution or facility.