Nuclear Medicine Technology

Nuclear medicine involves the administration of radioactive materials to patients primarily for diagnosis, but also for therapy. Nuclear Medicine Technology includes several subspecialties including general nuclear medicine, nuclear cardiology, positron emission tomography (PET) and molecular breast imaging. Nuclear Medicine Technologists are well-educated, highly skilled professionals. The profession requires good judgment to provide patients with appropriate healthcare services while maintaining good radiation safety techniques. The Nuclear Medicine Technologist works in various medical settings in which a physician is responsible for the use of radioactive materials and interpretation of appropriate nuclear medicine procedures. Nuclear Medicine Technologists perform various duties and gather necessary data to assist the physician in determining a diagnosis.

Additional information about Nuclear Medicine Technology may be found online at www.JRCNMT.org  www.ARRT.org  www.NMTCB.org  www.SNMMI.org

Program

The St. Vincent’s Nuclear Medicine Technology Program includes academic and clinical practice components, providing graduates with the necessary eligibility requirements to qualify for examination by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board. The program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology.

The program is 15 months in length, with a new class beginning each September. Academic and clinical instruction in computed tomography is included. Individuals already certified in computed tomography (RT(CT)) are eligible to complete the program in 12 months at a reduced tuition fee.

The program has developed clinical affiliations with several medical centers in the Northeast Florida area which allows each student to obtain a complete experience in Nuclear Medicine.

Students are required to complete clinical experience at two sites during the program.

Admission

Applicants must have a minimum of an Associate’s Degree and prerequisite college level courses in general chemistry, general physics, college algebra, human anatomy and physiology I and II, medical terminology, speech/oral communications, written communications, humanities and social sciences completed by the program start date. All prerequisite courses must be demonstrated on a regionally accredited college or university transcript.

All application materials must be received by May 1 in order to be considered. Applicants must either be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident to be eligible for acceptance and are considered without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin or disability. Qualified applicants are contacted to arrange a personal interview after the application deadline. Acceptance is based on an evaluation of prior educational and work experience, personal and professional references and personal interviews. Each applicant is evaluated using a point system.

Classes are limited to eight students. Applicants are notified regarding acceptance into the program following completion of the interview process. Notification usually occurs within several days of the conclusion of the interview process.

Applicants must either be certified as a Radiologic Technologist or have a minimum of an Associate's Degree (preferably in a healthcare related field). Prerequisite college level courses in general physics, general chemistry, college algebra, speech/oral communications, introduction to Computers, human anatomy and physiology I and II and medical terminology are required. For those applicants not currently employed in a healthcare related field, prerequisite courses must have been successfully completed within five years of the time of application. However, based on individual-specific criteria, this requirement may be waived by the program director. Completed applications must be received no later May 1 to be considered. A $25 non-refundable application fee is required. Qualified applicants are contacted to arrange a personal interview. Acceptance is based on an evaluation of prior educational and work experience, personal and professional references, transcripts and personal interviews. Each applicant is evaluated using a point system.

Technical Standards/ Physical and Mental Performance Requirements

Students must be able to:

  • Efficiently reach, manipulate and operate equipment necessary for all nuclear medicine procedures
  • Move, manipulate and observe a patient as necessary for all nuclear medicine procedures
  • Visually assess patients, medical test results and the working environment to correctly decide the appropriate action to take for the benefit of the patient
  • Clearly be able to communicate, verbally and in writing (in English) with the faculty, staff, patients, families and others to disseminate information about patient care and work duties
  • Hear well to accurately gather information relevant to patient and clinical activities
  • Make appropriate decisions in an emergency or in situations not clearly governed by specific guidelines
  • Demonstrate emotional stability and psychological health in day-to-day interaction with patients, staff, family members and others in routine and non-routine decision-making processes and in the daily execution of didactic and clinical assignments

English Language

All classroom and clinical instruction will be conducted in English. By accepting a position in this program, the student acknowledges this and accepts the responsibility for sufficient proficiency in the English language to be able to successfully complete the program.

Latex Advisory

Students frequently use and have exposure to latex-based products commonly used in healthcare settings. Students with latex allergies should seek expert advice from their healthcare provider in order to make an informed decision regarding their exposure to latex-based products prior to considering medical imaging as a future profession.

Curriculum

Each student in the Nuclear Medicine Technology program must complete 40 hours per week to fulfill mandatory clinical and didactic requirements. These requirements include formal classroom instruction as well as supervised clinical practice in all phases of Nuclear Medicine Technology. The 40-hour week is scheduled Monday through Friday on varying time schedules. Clinical schedules include rotations through at least two of the following sites:

  • St. Vincent's Riverside and Southside
  • Baptist Medical Center
  • UF Health Jacksonville
  • Memorial Hospital
  • Orange Park Medical Center
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Flagler Hospital
  • Halifax Medical Center

Generally, the days start no earlier than 6am and end no later than 5pm. Holidays, sick days and vacation days are available (see student handbook).

The list of courses may change without notification. Courses include:

  • Clinical Instruction
  • Computed Tomography Procedures
  • Computed Tomography Overview
  • Computed Tomography Radiation Safety
  • Computer Applications
  • Contrast Agents
  • Diagnostic Nuclear Medicine
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Medical Terminology
  • Nuclear Medicine Instrumentation and QC
  • Nuclear Medicine Mathematics
  • Nuclear Medicine Physics
  • Patient Care
  • Positron Emission Tomography
  • Radiation Biology
  • Radiation Safety Practices
  • Radiopharmacy
  • Regulations and Licensure
  • Sectional Anatomy/Pathology

Course Completion / Registry Eligibility

To successfully complete the program, students must maintain an 80% average throughout all phases of academic instruction and an 85% average throughout all phases of the clinical education. Students must exhibit appropriate professional conduct and show a satisfactory aptitude for the care of the sick.

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to apply for the national certification examinations of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB). These are pass/fail examinations. Those who pass receive certification as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. This credential is the standard of excellence and acceptance for the profession and is required for most employment opportunities.

Class Expenses

  • Tuition for the Nuclear Medicine Technology program is $5,500 (subject to change), payable to St. Vincent's
  • A 12-month format is available to certified CT technologists at a discounted tuition of $4,500
  • A $500 non-refundable deposit is required at the time a student accepts entry into the program
  • Books and supplies cost approximately $1,000. Payment for books is due the first day of class
  • A $25 non-refundable application fee must be submitted with the completed application
  • Purchasing and laundering of uniforms are the student's responsibility
  • Transportation and living expenses are the student's responsibility
  • Health insurance is the student's responsibility. Upon acceptance, potential students must complete a required health evaluation and show proof of personal health insurance
  • Upon acceptance, all students are required to have a background review by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) as part of a pre-employment screening conducted by St. Vincent's
  • All fees for national registry exams are the student's responsibility

Refund Policy

The required tuition, less the $500 deposit, may be refunded on a pro-rated basis, based upon the termination date.