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Nuclear Medicine Technologist

New Brunswick has various opportunities for nuclear medicine technologists, who provide nuclear medicine services to treat patients for certain medical conditions on the order of a physician. Nuclear medicine is the use of low-level radioactive substances which are injected, swallowed, or inhaled to produce diagnostic images of how the body functions. For example, bone scans, cardiac stress testing, and lung scans. Nuclear medicine technologists also act as an aid to nuclear medicine physicians by acquiring data through radiation detection equipment in order to diagnosis diseases.

Generally, nuclear medicine technologists are excellent problem solvers, often independent, and hard working. They must keep their patients at ease, which requires a strong sense of empathy, good communication skills, and problem solving. Attention to detail and a broad knowledge of nuclear medicine and technology are crucial when recording and processing results of procedures, observing radiation safety and protection measures for patients and personnel, and much more.

Personal characteristics and skills

  • Strong problem-solving and technical skills
  • Good judgment
  • Empathy and understanding of patient’s needs
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to adapt in difficult or stressful settings
  • Ability to work independently as well as in a team environment

Nuclear Medicine Technologists in New Brunswick have a variety of important roles, including but not limited to:

  • Applying radioactive materials to perform diagnostic and/or therapeutic procedures
  • Preparing radiopharmaceuticals and administering them to patients or to biological samples
  • Operating radiation detection equipment, such as gamma cameras, scanners, scintillation counters, tomodensitometers, and ionization chambers
  • Performing quality control procedures and assisting with quality assurance plans
  • Recording and processing results of procedures
  • Checking equipment to ensure safety and proper function
  • Providing appropriate care for the patients during the examination
  • Observing radiation safety and protection measures for patients and personnel
  • Providing guidance, training, and orientation to other nuclear medicine staff, students, and other healthcare professionals

Nuclear medicine technologists may work shifts and are sometimes on call. The vast majority will be in direct patient contact – lifting and moving patients is a regular part of the job. To avoid repetitive stress injuries and unnecessary exposure to radiation, safety precautions must be carefully followed.

Nuclear Medicine Technologists work in a variety of settings, such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Cancer treatment centres
  • Community health centres
  • Clinics and radiological laboratories
  • Research facilities
  • Medical equipment sales companies

To work in this field, completion of an accredited university or college educational program in Medical Radiation Technology (MRT) with specialization in Nuclear Medicine, combined with a supervised practical training, is required. In New Brunswick, nuclear medicine technologists must be certified and registered with the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists – New Brunswick Division and pass the national association’s exam.

Education programs offered in Atlantic Canada:

Education programs offered in Eastern Canada: