Nuclear medicine technologists use equipment that acquires images such as thyroid, cardiac, bone and kidney scans. These images enable physicians to diagnose and monitor a patient’s response to various treatments.
Nuclear medicine technologists use their excellent patient care skills to monitor patients during procedures. Their technical expertise in the use of radiopharmaceuticals and radiation physics combined with their expert knowledge of anatomy and physiology allow them to produce images and perform diagnostic imaging procedures. Technologists also ensure proper radiation handling and protection techniques are followed, keeping patients, staff and visitors safe.
Nuclear Medicine Technologists (NM) work in hospitals and medical clinics, performing imaging that helps doctors make a diagnosis. The images they get help pinpoint the type of disease and how it is affecting the body. Their work also helps doctors watch how patients are responding to their treatment. NM Technologists also do some treatment procedures to treat disease and give pain relief. Some of the main uses for nuclear medicine include:
- assessing coronary (heart) disease
- studying how the major organs (brain, heart, lung, kidneys, and others) are working
- finding tumours
- watching cancer progression and if treatments are working
- diagnosing hormonal disorders
People who have nuclear medicine exams need an injection of a very small amount of radioactive material that is then measured as it moves throughout the body. The NM Technologist prepares material, administers it to the patient, and then produces the images with complex electronic equipment and a computer.
The Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists (ACMDTT) has adopted the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists’ (CAMRT) competency profiles for the medical radiation technology specialties that it regulates. Previous competency profiles for these specialties have been rescinded. The ACMDTT acknowledges that CAMRT’s profiles reflect current practice in Alberta.