Profession: Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Qualification and registration requirements
Nuclear Medicine Scientists/ Technologists are university qualified professionals who have completed an undergraduate or graduate entry masters level course in Medical Radiation Science (Nuclear Medicine) and are registered with the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia. Specialist Post Graduate courses are available at Masters, Post Graduate and Graduate Certificate levels.
What is a Nuclear Medicine Technologist?
Nuclear Medicine involves the application of radioactive substances in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Radiopharmaceuticals are taken intravenously, orally or inhaled whereupon external detectors (gamma cameras) capture and form images from the radiation emitted by the radiopharmaceuticals. The extent of disease process is imaged based on function and physiology. Diagnostic Nuclear Medicine uses 2D and 3D techniques. SPECT and PET utilise 3D technology whilst Hybrid scanning techniques allow superimposition of modalities such as CT and MRI to highlight regions in which the radiopharmaceutical is concentrated.
What does a Nuclear Medicine Technologist do?
A Nuclear Medicine Scientist/ Technologist uses the nuclear properties of isotopes to diagnose and treat abnormalities. Radiopharmaceutical tracers identify changes in physiology and those pathways can also be used in treatment of disease. The specialty develops a wide variety of patient care, scientific and interpersonal skills to provide key information in the evaluation and management of patients.
Nuclear Medical Scientists work closely with Medical Specialists, patients and other members of the health care team. Specific duties include:
- Preparing and administering radiopharmaceuticals
- Imaging different organs and bodily structures
- Use of sophisticated computer systems to process data and enhance images
- Analyse biological specimens in the laboratory
Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia
Medical Radiation Practice Council of New South Wales
Australian and New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine
New South Wales Society of Nuclear Medicine Scientists (NSWSNMS)
For information on how to gain recognition of Allied Health qualifications obtained overseas, please contact the relevant professional association as per web lists above.