Nuclear medicine technologists use equipment that acquires scans of such areas as the thyroid, heart, bone and kidneys. 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.
Some of the main uses for nuclear medicine include:
- assessing coronary disease
- studying the health of major organs (brain, heart, lung, kidneys, and others)
- finding tumours
- monitoring cancer progression
- diagnosing hormonal disorders
People who have nuclear medicine exams need an injection of a small amount of radioactive material that is measured as it moves throughout the body. The NM Technologist prepares this material, administers it to the patient, and then produces 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 Previous competency profiles for these specialties have been rescinded.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.