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What are the different educational paths for becoming a nuclear medicine technologist?

Hi, I am a high school grade who is currently in career technical training for medical assisting. I had to take a break from college but I am planning to go back to get my associates for Nuclear Medicine technology or just biotechnology in general. Some of my other interests include art, psychology and politics. #healthcare #medicine #medical #biology

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Suzanne’s Answer

Be sure that the program which you intend to do in nuclear medicine technology is an accredited one. Most nuclear med techs have associates degrees but some graduate from certificate programs or have bachelors degrees. Depending on your state you will then need to become either certified or licensed in order to work in this field.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers an excellent website for this and many other careers:

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nuclear-medicine-technologists.htm




Thank you comment icon Thank you Suzanne ! Priya
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Joseph’s Answer

I'm not familiar with the medical routes, especially on the US "side of the pond", but I would presume the main route is specializing into nuclear medicine after completing a general medicine degree.

What I do know, however, is that there's another route - while I was studying a masters in nuclear power physics in the UK, we shared a lot of our classes in radiation physics with a Medical Physics MSc, and those people were all looking at going into nuclear medicine and radiology fields - so at least over here, one of the educational paths into those fields must start out along the lines of physics and mathematics focus at school, into a general Physics undergraduate BSc degree, moving into a Medical Physics MSc, which I think led many of them directly into work placements for on-the-job training.

Whether there's something similar in the US I don't know, but it's worth bearing in mind that there could be different routes, and your colleagues may have quite different backgrounds. Also worth keeping in mind that nuclear medicine can touch on a bit more maths or physics than other areas of medical technology might - there's a range of subtly different ways of measuring radiation doses, and you'll likely need to be comfortable working though equations for converting units and learning the differences between dosimetry quantities like absorbed dose, Kerma, H*10, and the like.
Thank you comment icon Thank you Joseph ! Priya
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