Nuclear Medicine Week on October, 2024: Future in nuclear medicine?

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Future in nuclear medicine?

Nuclear medicine requires a considerable amount of physics in terms of understanding the nature of nuclear decay, types of decay that produce various radiotracers (radiopharmaceuticals) and so clearly, there is a good amount of mathematics involved, but it is rather simple mathematics.

Nuclear Medicine Technologist as a career in Australia?

Nuclear Medicine Technologist as a career in Australia?

In america, a nuclear medicine technologist does pretty well, starting off at between $17/hour and $25/hour, depending on where you go. Almost all nuclear medicine technologists work full time here (40 hours per week), unless you work part time. Also on-call shifts are very common, as sometimes emergency scans have to be done at night. There are three aspects of nuclear medicine: research, therapeutic, and diagnostic. The majority of nuclear medicine are diagnostic imaging (scans), which are very similar to a CT scan (Cat-scan). Although at smaller hospitals, techs usually do both therapies and imaging scans. Therapys are usually for thyroid disorders and cancer and non-hodgkins lymphoma treatment. PET is another modality of nuclear medicine, in which the procedure is very similar to a CT scan. In all imaging procedures (including PET), the tech gives the patient an injection (or a pill...and occasionally radioactive eggs) of a radioactive tracer. After that, the tech places the patient on an imaging table and lets the camera take the pictures. It is a very layed back job, probably less stressful then nursing. Often the patients are just in and out, and almost always scheduled. You only have to worry about one patient at a time, and with modern nuc med technology, imaging becomes easier and easier by letting the camera do all the work (such as 3D imaging....or SPECT). It's actually a very fun job, as you get to work with many different types of diseases and are able to save lives, and get to help the radiologists look at the images to make the diagnosis, and you will ALWAYS be learning.

It is also a growing field, so you'll always have a nice job. BTW, I work in nuclear medicine, if you couldn't tell :)

I hope this helps.


Nuclear stress test?

Nuclear stress test?

A nuclear stress test can be perfomed 2 different ways. On a treadmill or with medication to chemically induce stress. Dye is not used in either test. A radioisotope is used for the images, and I'd speak with the nuclear stress lab regarding possible allergies, but I've never seen anyone have a reaction to the isotope in 4 years of supervising these tests.

A treadmill nuclear test, you have an IV started, get the isotope injected and have pictures made for your rest images. Then you walk on a treadmill until you reach your target heart rate, the isotope is then injected again, you walk (or run) another minute and then they take another set of pictures. The cardiologist I work for prefers this type of test to the chemical test because he feels it is a more accurate test.

In a chemical test, an IV is started, you are injected with the isotope, have your rest pictures taken just like in the other test. The difference is, instead of walking on the treadmill you are given a medication to chemically stress your heart. Our office usually uses adenosine, dobutamine, or persantine. These medications open the vessels in your body so that your heart has to work a little harder. The medicine can make you feel funny. Some people complain of chest pain, nausea, headache, odd sensation in their throat. Some people's blood pressure drops very low and the feel as if they are going to pass out. It's not a pleasant sensation. These symptoms only happen while the medicine is infusing, and when it's over you usually feel much better. Then you again, have the isotope injected and have your stress pictures taken.

There are stress tests done that do not require injecting any medicines. One is a stess echocardiogram, where they take ultrasound pictures before and after you walk on a treadmill. And then there is just a plain treadmill, where your ECG only is monitored.

Ask your doctor which is best for you, I'm sure there is a reason he/she wants pictures also, and if you are concerned about a possible allergy, talk with you doctor and/or the nuclear lab where you are to have your test performed.

Good Luck!

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