Your Job as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist is to prepare radiopharmaceuticals, perform camera quality control, administer patient doses, and perform diagnostic imaging. You are responsible to:
- Prepare radiopharmaceuticals
- Perform quality control on radiopharmaceuticals
- Perform quality control on cameras
- Explain the procedure to the patients
- Administer diagnostic and therapeutic doses
- Position the patient for images
- Set up the camera and related equipment
- Acquire patient images
- Assess the image and procedure quality
- Process images used specialized computer software
- Provide patient care
- Maintain a safe environment for you and your patient
- Assist in training students
You will be employed in a hospital or private clinic. There are many Nuclear Medicine facilities across Canada. In Manitoba, there is one hospital in Brandon, and four hospitals in Winnipeg. Your education includes: Nuclear Medicine is a two year program. Currently Manitoba students do one year of study in Calgary at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology followed by a one year practicum in Winnipeg hospitals.
For official entry requirements visit www.sait.ca Students may enter directly with a high school diploma with at least 60% in the following:
- English Language Arts 30-1 (equivalent to ELA 40S 2 credits)
- Pure Math 30 or Math 30-1 (equivalent to Calculus 45A or Adv Math 45A), or at least 70% in Math 30-2
- Chemistry 30 (equivalent to Chemistry 40S)
- Biology 30 or Physics 30 (equivalent to Biology 40S or Physics 40S), or Math 31
- All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.
The profession offers the following rewards:
Helping People: A career in health care provides the opportunity to help many people. Nuclear Medicine plays an important role in finding a diagnosis and treating a few pathologies.
This profession requires one to work with other health care professionals and patients as well as use a knowledge base to perform their duties. This allows one to utilize both interpersonal skills and their technical aptitude. Different areas within Nuclear Medicine depend on different skills.
- Continuous Improvement:
Nuclear Medicine Technologists are supported to improve their skills and knowledge. The opportunity exists to get involved in special projects, attend conferences or seminars and take additional courses.
- Advancing Technology:
The field of Nuclear Medicine has seen much recent advancement including PET/CT, PET/MRI and SPECT/CT. The technology will continue to advance. This provides the opportunity for Technologists to continue learning and to have change in daily responsibilities.
- Team Work:
Nuclear Medicine Technologists utilize their communication and interpersonal skills to work together as a team to provide the best possible care and treatment to the patient.
- Opportunity for Advancement:
Nuclear Medicine facilities are located across Canada but the number of sites is based on the population. Typically most departments have many General Duty Technologists and a fewer number of higher positions such as Senior Technologist, Radiation Safety Officer, Charge Technologist, Chief Technologist, Clinical Instructor, and Manager. After gaining sufficient work experience, Nuclear Medicine Technologists may gain employment outside of Nuclear Medicine Departments. A few examples include Post-Secondary Institutes, Radiation Safety Offices, or the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
- Broad Range of Procedures:
Most Nuclear Medicine Departments have a broad range of procedures. Typically a technologist will rotate through different rotations. For example, one week a technologist may focus on dispensing doses, the next week they may focus on cardiac imaging or bone imaging or work on a camera with a wide variety of imaging procedures. Some departments also include Bone Density or PET (Positron Emission Tomography). A large portion of the patients are cardiology or oncology patients. There are a wide variety of patients that includes adults, children, out patients, and inpatients.
This profession has the following challenges:
As with any profession, Nuclear Medicine Technologists may occasionally work under stressful conditions. Technologists strive to keep on schedule to prevent the next patient from waiting. In a hospital setting, Technologists occasionally work with patients that are unwell or have a poor prognosis. Successful Nuclear Medicine Technologists find that communicating effectively with co-workers, family and friends and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be helpful.
- Physical Requirements:
Standing and walking as well as lifting and moving patients and equipment is an integral part of the position. Nuclear Medicine Technologists find that the physical stamina can be demanding. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle allows this to be very manageable.
To find out more about this profession, and the Nuclear Medicine Technology program, please contact:
Department of Nuclear Medicine
Clinical Instructor/ Radiation Safety Officer
HSC Winnipeg Shared Health