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Nuclear Medicine Technology

Looking for background information and reference sources?

Nuclear medicine is an imaging modality providing information about abnormalities in an organ’s structure and function by using small amounts of radioactive materials. It is a branch of medicine working with radiotherapy that may be used in the treatment of a variety of conditions identified in the thyroid, heart, liver and many other organs.

For expanding definitions and placing your topic in context with other related subjects, example searches are provided for you to learn to combine various search terms on the topic being researched and assist you in finding relevant information in the resources suggested below. The time furnished for these suggested searches may be less if you do not perform your own search.

Electronic Resources and Print

Credo Reference search (See related topics and identify research terms in Credo Reference.):

Credo Reference provides access to medical dictionaries such as Mosby's dictionary of medicine, nursing & health professions, Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, and Jablonski's Dictionary of Medical Acronyms & Abbreviations.

5 minute exercise using Credo Reference
  • Into the search box, type “nuclear medicine” with quotes to retrieve articles containing definitions and graphics. For more graphics perform an image search under the “Image Search” tab.
  • Begin again and click on the “Concept Map” to search for the topic “nuclear medicine” and choose “Medicine” for the subject. With the cursor on “Nuclear medicine” hold the left button of the mouse and move the map around so that you may read the various related terms. By hovering over a term, you will find more information and keywords to broaden or narrow your searches.
5-10 minute exercise Using the Oregon Tech Library Catalog
  • Use the “Articles” or “Books” tab that are available above the “Libraries Catalog search box on the libraries homepage,” search by the subject, “nuclear medicine,” choose a relevant article or book. Click on the title to see the full description.
  • Build a research vocabulary and narrow a topic by scrolling down through several title descriptions on your topic to find “Descriptors” or “Related Subjects” containing Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®). Subject headings are specific terms selected to describe individual works.
  • By searching for these found related vocabulary terms such as “Tomography, Emission; Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy; diagnostic imaging –methods; Radioisotope scanning; Radionuclide imaging,” etc. you will find relevant works to nuclear medicine and perhaps a research topic. Searching a library catalog by using LCSH is not the same as searching for keyword terms in Google. LCSH are usually relevant to a topic. Keywords may not produce all relevant results.

Smart Imagebase has thousands of medical illustrations, videos, interactive tools, and monographs of anatomy, physiology, embryology, surgery, trauma, pathology, diseases, conditions and other topics for download and may be used in papers and reports for educational purposes.

Google Scholar provides indexing, abstracts, and occasional links to full text either to open access or the Oregon Tech Libraries’ paid licensed sources.

5 minute exercise using Google Scholar
  • When the result of searching is an Oregon Tech paid subscription, click on “Find it @Oregon Tech” and use your email username and password to access the licensed resources.
  • Searching in Google Scholar includes the use of keywords for the topic of interest. Keywords are those words found anywhere in a particular book or article and are a good substitute for a search when you do not know the authorized subject heading. A keyword search for “nuclear medicine and brain diseases” retrieves over 900 results. Add: and “positron emission tomography.” Choose the date “Since 2012.” Click on “Sort by date.” By combining a narrower keyword or a MeSH heading and choosing a publication date range, newer and more relevant results to PET are located.

Browsing for “nuclear medicine technology” books on a library book shelf?

See the subjects and suggested Library of Congress call number ranges below:

  • Nuclear medicine as a profession R898
  • Toxicology RA1231.R2
  • Radiography RC78-78.5
  • Radioisotope scanning RC78.7.R4
  • Diseases RC91-103.2
  • Interventional radiology RD33.55-.57
  • Radiotherapy RM845-862.5

Looking for scholarly articles?

Finding scholarly articles: sources and search methods

Scholarly articles are often peer reviewed. Here is a link to a video, “Peer Review in Five Minutes.”

Peer-reviewed concept map created with Bubbl-us by Iris Godwin.

Peer-reviewed concept map

10 minute exercise building a research vocabulary

Subject headings are specific terms selected to describe individual works. When searching for books, these subject headings are referred to as Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). Some sources use Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®). When searching in electronic resources, these authorized and assigned subject headings may be found under a tab titled “Index, Thesaurus, CINAHL Headings,” etc.

  • Start with the library search box on the right side of this page, choose the “Articles” tab on the Libraries Catalog search box, enter keywords about your topic e.g., radioisotope scanning and build a research vocabulary by scrolling down through several title descriptions on your topic to find “Descriptors” such as radiologic health, Neoplasms, Radiation–Induced, Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy, Radionuclide Imaging, etc. Click on a descriptor of interest to find related articles, search for more articles from the “Articles” tab combining the vocabularies found, or move to specific electronic resources suggested below.

Electronic resource suggested searches:

CINAHL with Full Text – a comprehensive resource for peer- reviewed allied health literature and medical issues including searchable cited references. Using the “CINAHL Headings” tab will assist you in developing appropriate searches for your topic.

5 minute exercise in CINAHL with Full Text

Open CINAHL with Full Text and find the “CINAHL headings” tab and search for “radio isotope scanning” to retrieve CINAHL-specific, controlled subject headings Radionuclide Imaging; Tomography, Spiral Computed; Microscopy, Electron, Scanning; Radioisotope Dilution Technique, etc. These headings or another one found in the hierarchical tree may be checked plus a “Major Concept” to retrieve relevant articles. Narrow results by using the left facets to refine the search, if needed. Learn definitions by clicking on the “Scope” note.

MEDLINE – an online database of biomedical journal citations and abstracts covering all areas of medicine and indexed with NLM's controlled vocabulary, the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®). Full text must be ordered from another library using the Interlibrary Loan Article Request Form.

  • A basic search for “magnetic resonance spectroscopy” in the MeSH Browser using the link (MeSH®) retrieves many related terms including NMR Spectroscopy.
  • Go to EBSCO Medline MeSH Tab by clicking on MEDLINE and the top MeSh tab. Copy and paste NMR Spectroscopy; click on “Browse;” Click on the phrase “Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular” and the box in front of “Chemistry Techniques, Analytical.” Check the box under Subheading, “Trends” and click “Search Database.” Add: “and magnetic” in the search box. See: Solid State nuclear magnetic resonance. Keyword searches at the Medline basic and advanced search boxes may be performed too.

PubMed – a free resource that anyone may access is maintained by the National Library of Medicine. Includes access to MEDLINE and to citations for selected articles in life science journals not included in MEDLINE. Not full-text but citations may include links to full-text articles from Pubmed Central (National Institutes of Health free digital archive), Oregon Tech Library subscription databases or open access publisher websites. Limit searches by clinical studies, systematic reviews, meta-analysis, medical genetics, practice guidelines, etc.

Less than 5 minute exercise in PubMed
  • A PubMed search under PubMed Tools, Cinical Queries for “Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy” will bring up multiple search options in a drop down. Scroll and click “magnetic resonance spectroscopy bipolar” and “Search” to retrieve over one hundred results under Clinical Study Categories. Change the “Category” to Diagnosis and the “Scope” to Narrow. The scope may be narrow or broad with respect to the range of conditions. Pubmed automatically will run a search specifically designed for clinicians.

Sage Journals Online – has more than 700 journals spanning the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Science, Technology, and Medicine, and more than 298 are published on behalf of learned societies and institutions.

5 minute exercise in Sage Journals Online
  • Type into the Sage Journals search box for “positron emission tomography” retrieves hundreds of results and magnetic resonance imaging retrieves thousands of results. Refine the search by adding the keyword phrase “and lupus” in the search box. To see the latest articles first, on the right choose: “Results order,” most recent. Go.

Wiley InterScience – full-text journals and books are available.

5 minute exercise in Wiley InterScience
  • Click on Advanced Search located below the Wiley search box. Search for “magnetic resonance imaging” (change All Fields to Article Titles) and “stroke” (change All Fields to Abstract).
  • By using the search parameter of “Abstract,” scholarly articles and books are usually retrieved. Use the links to look at a certain format in the FILTER LIST. You may also Sort by: “Date.”

Looking for more online resources?

From Oregon Institute of Technology Library Homepage

  • See Electronic Resources by Subject for more sources or the Electronic Resources A –Z list. For more subject guides that may be of assistance, see Oregon Tech Library’s Find by Subject.
  • If available through Oregon Tech Library subscriptions, locate specific electronic journal titles by entering the title of the journal in the search box at Find a Journal. Some titles that are available include: BMC Medical Imaging, Journal of Clinical Ultrasound and Medical Image Analysis. It is important to include “Journal of” or “Journal for” if it is included in the journal title.

Selected Websites (alphabetical listing)

American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM)
American Board of Nuclear Medicine
American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT)
American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)
APA Citation Help
Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB)
Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI)

Looking to evaluate articles?

  • Link to Evaluating Articles 101 presented by Anne Hiller-Clark at the library’s Digital Brownbag Series. [You will need to download a .jar file and have Java on your computer.]

Apply “TRUST” principles to the main supporting articles for your specific topic:

  • Target purposeful and relevant information for the intended research
  • Review the qualifications and achievements of the author
  • Utilize peer-reviewed scholarly articles (articles reviewed by experts in the field)
  • Search if article includes impartial research and study the purpose for which it is written
  • Test the information for historical or current value for your topic
Iris Godwin

Iris Godwin, Technical Services Librarian


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Last updated June 2013

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