Health Guide USA
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Nuclear Medicine Technologists | What Do They Do?

Nuclear medicine technologists typically do the following:

  • Explain imaging procedures to the patient and answer questions
  • Follow safety procedures to protect the patient and themselves from excessive radiation exposure
  • Examine machines to make sure that they are safe and working properly
  • Prepare radioactive drugs and administer them to the patient
  • Monitor the patient to check for unusual reactions to drugs
  • Operate equipment that creates images of areas in the body, such as images of organs
  • Keep detailed records of procedures


Radioactive drugs, known as radiopharmaceuticals, give off radiation, allowing special scanners to monitor tissue and organ functions. Abnormal areas show higher-than-expected or lower-than-expected concentrations of radioactivity. Physicians then interpret the images to help diagnose the patientís condition. For example, tumors can be seen in organs during a scan because of their concentration of the radioactive drugs.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition


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