Primary responsibilities of NMTs include (Adapted from UW-LAX, 2008):
- Preparing and administering radio-pharmaceuticals
- Working directly with patients throughout the procedure
- Operating sophisticated instrumentation and computers to generate digital images
Nuclear medicine technologists (NMT’s) explain the procedure to the patient and position them for the scan. They also administer pharmaceuticals and use a “scanner,” or gamma scintillation camera, to detect radiation emitted by the radio-pharmaceutical to produce an image and measure the physiological function of the organ. The images allow identification of tumors, areas of infection or other disorders. Abnormalities collect either more or less radio-pharmaceuticals than do normal areas of the body. The radiation dose is small, and the patient experiences little or no discomfort during the procedure.
NMTs play an integral role in the health-care team, working with patients, physicists, nuclear pharmacists, computer specialists, nurses, secretaries and other health-care professionals and are employed in hospitals, universities, medical clinics and research centers across the United States and abroad (Mayo Clinic 2003).