Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Nuc Med What?!?!
My name is Vicki and I am a Nuclear Medicine
Technologist. Now, for anyone saying aloud, “A
Nuc Med What???,” Nuclear Medicine
Technology is an exciting and interesting career
in the field of healthcare! Nuclear Medicine
Technologists are involved in Medical Imaging.
In a nuclear medicine test, small amounts of radiopharmaceuticals (drugs that
allow us to image the body) are introduced into the body by injection, swallowing
or inhalation. These substances are attracted to specific organs, tissues or bones.
Then a special camera (Gamma Cameras), that can detect the
radiopharmaceutical, is used to take pictures of the area of the body that's in
question. Nuclear Medicine Technologists are responsible for this process.
History in the Making
I first learned of my interest in Medical Imaging when I had the chance to job
shadow a Radiologic Technologist (sometimes called X-Ray Tech) in High School.
I knew right away it was for me! (It is my advice to talk to your counselor about
job-shadowing opportunities. It’s great to see first hand what a professional does
in their daily work.) I graduated from Fowler High School in Fowler, MI and
began a Radiologic Technology program (2 year degree) at Lansing Community
College. My coursework in anatomy and physiology, as well as other science and
math classes, kept me very challenged, but the classes were super cool and
interesting!!! Once I earned my degree I began working as a Radiologic
Technologist in a hospital. I eventually was trained in CT & MRI – two other
forms of Medical Imaging. This was what opened the doors for me in Nuclear
A Window of Opportunity
I had the exciting opportunity of being cross-trained in Nuclear Medicine
Technology right at the hospital! This was a 6-month process; I worked part-
time as a Radiologic Technologist at the hospital while I was being trained in
Nuclear Medicine. That’s the great thing about this job – it has grown with me! I
started out as an X-Ray Tech before being trained in CT, then MRI, and last I was
educated in Nuclear Medicine Technology! If you’re up for the challenge and
want to continue learning throughout your career that option is there!
When I arrive to work I begin the day by doing lab work - preparing isotopes or
radiopharmaceuticals. The first patient exams of the day are those where the
patient was not permitted to eat before the exam. Emergency cases are also
priority during the day. Such cases include blood clot patients and GI bleeds.
A Friendly Face
Nuclear Medicine Technologists acquire relationships with their patients.
Nuclear Medicine exams are different from X-Rays in that they are longer, so you
get to know the patient much better. If the test takes an hour or two hours, which
most of them do, you get to talk with the patient and learn about their life. Also
there are some Nuclear Medicine exams that are recurrent, such as bone scans.
You have the joy of seeing the patient once every 6 months or every couple of
years. It’s cool to see the patient doing well or recovering from an illness. It’s so
interesting to see their progress in life. You remember patients and they
Outside of work I keep busy with my family. I am married with two kids – we
enjoy walking and bike riding together. My husband and I both enjoy golf and I
The field of Nuclear Medicine Technology is exciting and in-demand! Check out a
career in Medical Imaging Today!
For more information on a career as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist, visit the
Medical Imaging page.