Nuclear Medicine Technology
Study in an accredited program that will prepare you for success in this growing field.
If you have an interest in health care and computer technology and are looking for a people-oriented profession in an expanding job market, consider a career in nuclear medicine technology.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment of nuclear medicine technologists will increase by 16 percent from 2008 to 2018. The Cedar Crest College Nuclear Medicine Technology major—which is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology—will provide you with all the tools you need for a rewarding career.
What Is Nuclear Medicine Technology?
Nuclear medicine technology involves the use of radioactive pharmaceuticals (also called radiopharmaceuticals) to diagnose and treat disease. Radiopharmaceuticals are substances that are attracted to specific organs, bones or tissues. The radiopharmaceuticals used in nuclear medicine emit energy in the form of gamma rays that are detected by a special camera: gamma or PET. Computers convert the information collected by the camera into an image of the specific area of the body.
The field of nuclear medicine is unique in diagnostic technique because it provides information about both structure and function of almost every organ in the body. It is this ability to study function that separates nuclear medicine from other imaging modalities, such as an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging. It’s a safe, painless and cost effective method of information gathering.
About Our Program
The Cedar Crest nuclear medicine technology program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology, which ensures that you will receive a quality education. By pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nuclear medicine technology at Cedar Crest College, you will work closely with experienced and well-respected professors. In the classroom and in the lab, you will obtain the latest knowledge and conduct relevant research using state-of-the art technology. You will begin conducting research beginning your first year.
You will also receive a quality liberal arts education, including instruction in the development of strong communication and leadership skills, which will put you “ahead of the curve” when pursuing graduate studies or a career.
You will spend your first three years studying on the Cedar Crest College campus, and your last year doing clinical work at one of our partner health care institutions. Due to the strength of these partnerships, you will have the opportunity to be trained in the clinical setting by M.D.s in combination with technologists. Learning from a physician provides a unique perspective into diagnostics and patient care, and is a benefit that most nuclear medicine technology programs simply don’t offer.
Nuclear medicine technologists work in a wide variety of clinical settings including community hospitals, university-affiliated teaching hospitals, out-patient imaging facilities and government and private research institutes. Some of the other careers you may pursue after earning your degree include:
- Chief technologist
- Research technologist
- Program director or clinical coordinator
- Instructor or professor
- Hospital administrator
- Industry sales representative
- Technical specialist
- Research and development specialist
Alumnae Success Stories
More than 98 percent of our program graduates have passed certification examinations by the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB) or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) on the first try, with nearly one-third passing with honors.
The program, over the last ten years, has had a 93% graduation rate.
These types of credentials have helped our graduates gain employment in such respected organizations as:
- Aria Health Systems, Philadelphia
- Heart Center, Medical City Hospital, Dallas
- Hunterdon Medical Center, Flemington, N.J.
- Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, Pa.
- St. Joseph’s Imaging Associates, Syracuse, N.Y.
- St. Luke’s Hospital and Health Network, Allentown, Pa.
Program Mission Statement
The mission of the program is to provide the health community with intelligent and technically capable technologists who understand the complexity of imaging systems protocols and performance of patient studies.
Prior to declaring a major in nuclear medicine technology, the following requirements must be met:
- Completed with a grade of C or above in the following courses:
- BIO 121 and 122
- CHEM 111 and 112
- BIO 217 and 218 (Anatomy and Physiology)
- BIO 236 (Cell and Molecular Biology)
- MAT 110 and 140 (or College Algebra)
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.750
Traditional students may declare the major at the end of their sophomore year. Students are required to have earned a grade of C or better in all required courses for the major and must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.75 to remain in the major.
Transfer students may declare the major after completion of the above criteria and achieving a cumulative (past and present) GPA of 2.75. Students are required to have earned a grade of C or better in all required courses for the major and must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.75 to remain in the major.
Dental and eye examinations, immunizations and an annual complete physical examination are required, as well as freedom from any physical, mental, medical or drug impairment that would prohibit the candidate from practicing as a professional nuclear medicine technologist.
The nuclear medicine clinical training begins early June and ends in April of the following year. Students in the clinical year of this program will earn Cedar Crest College credit and will pay one-half of the comprehensive nonresident student tuition fees. Resident students will also pay the full room and board fee.
The training is performed in nuclear medicine departments of the program’s affiliated hospitals. Teaching and clinical instructors are physicians, physicists and technologists on the hospital staffs. Student’s progress and performance are monitored by the program director, who makes periodic visits to the hospital departments. Readings, problem assignments and project work are an integral part of the student’s clinical training.
The hospital training includes the following areas: radionuclide imaging and external monitoring; radiation safety and protection; patient positioning and nursing procedures; and nuclear medicine administrative procedures. Students are required to learn and perform venipuncture and to inject radiopharmaceuticals. The training also includes: nuclear oncology, nuclear cardiology, molecular imaging (PET, and PET/CT), single photon emission tomography, immunology and cross-sectional anatomy. Thirty-one credits are awarded for the satisfactory completion of the clinical year.
No student will be allowed to begin the clinical year without documentation that she/he meets all of the following requirements:
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.750
- Nuclear Medicine Technology Program application and Letter of Intent form.
- Clearance from Health Services
- CPR certification (Health Care Professional level)
- FBI Identification Record Request – Federal Criminal History Check
- Child Abuse Check.
- Proof of health insurance. CCC health insurance is acceptable
Nuclear medicine technology students are responsible for any fees involved when obtaining the required health insurance, physical exam, background checks, immunizations, CPR training and other requirements.
Total number of credits required by program: 96
A grade of C or above is required for all courses that fulfill major requirements. A minimum GPA of 2.750 must be maintained in NMT courses during the clinical year.
Acceptance into the clinical year is competitive and not guaranteed by satisfaction of the minimum requirements. It is based on academic performance (minimum cumulative GPA of 2.750), the available number of positions in the clinical program and student interviews conducted by the educational and clinical program coordinators.
- BIO 121 Principles of Biology I 4 credits
- BIO 122 Principles of Biology II 4 credits
(Students with Advanced Placement credit for BIO 121 and/or 122 are required to take the BIO 121 and 122 Labs.)
- BIO 217 Anatomy and Physiology I 4 credits
- BIO 218 Anatomy and Physiology II 4 credits
- BIO 235 Ecology,Evolution and Genetics 4 credits
- BIO 236 Cell and Molecular Biology 4 credits
- BIO 304 Pathophysiology 3 credits
- BIO 320 Biomedical Ethics 3 credits
- BIO 342 Radiation Biology 4 credits
- CHE 111 Chemical Principles 4 credits
- CHE 112 Chemical Equilibrium and Analysis 4 credits
- MAT 110 Probability and Statistics 3 credits
- MAT Algebra or above 3 credits
- ACC 101 Financial Accounting 3 credits OR BUA 110 Principles of Management 3 credits
- BUA 110 Principles of Management 3 credits OR BUA 211 Intro to Healthcare Systems 3 credits
- BUA 220 Human Resources Management 3 credits OR BUA 258 Healthcare Management 3 credits
- PHY 101 Introductory College Physics I 4 credits
- PHY 102 Introductory College Physics II 4 credits
- NMT 411 Nuclear Imaging and Instrumentation I 6 credits
- NMT 412 Nuclear Imaging and Instrumentation II 6 credits
- NMT 413 Clinical Practicum I 2 credits
- NMT 414 Clinical Practicum II 2 credits
- NMT 415 Cross-sectional Anatomy 2 credits
- NMT 421 Nuclear Physics and Radiation Safety 2 credits
- NMT 424 Statistics 1 credit
- NMY 425 Patient Care 1 credit
- NMT 426 Quality Assurance 1 credit
- NMT 428 Computers in Medical Imaging 1 credit
- NMT 430 Radiopharmaceuticals (PET) 1 credit
- NMT 432 Non-Imaging Procedures 1 credit
- NMT 441 Nuclear Oncology 1 credit
- NMT 451 Clinical Seminar/Research 2 credits
- NMT 452 Patient Ethics 1 credit
- NMT 461 Introduction to CT 1 credit
Students majoring in nuclear medicine technology are required to complete a clinical experience. Because this requirement necessitates working with the public in a professional setting, it is important that the student has advanced interpersonal skills, mature judgment and appropriate professional demeanor. Thus faculty will review students prior to the clinical experience and make recommendations up to and including removal from placement.
All students, particularly those who are interested in attending graduate school or obtaining a research-based job following graduation, are highly encouraged to participate in independent research, which may culminate in a thesis.
The thesis option begins during the student’s junior year as part of Junior Colloquium (BIO 350). As part of the thesis option students will develop a research proposal to investigate an original research question. This experience allows the students to go beyond the basic course information, select a problem that interests them, and apply what they have learned in their coursework to a novel situation.
As part of the thesis option, students will spend a minimum of two semesters working with a faculty member to conduct the research outlined in their proposal. They will then develop a written thesis detailing their project and present their final project to the department in the form of a seminar talk or poster.
The title of a student’s thesis will appear on her transcript if she completes two semesters (4 credits) of Independent Research (BIO 353) and one semester (1 credit) of Senior Thesis and Presentation (BIO 354) with grades of C- or better.