Nuclear Medicine Technology – Major

For information, contact Prof. Judith Malitsch, jamalits@cedarcrest.edu, 610-606-4666, ext. 3605

Program Description

Nuclear medicine is the scientific and clinical discipline concerned with diagnostic, therapeutic and investigative use of radionuclides. The program leading to the BS degree in nuclear medicine spans four years (3+1), the first three of which are spent at Cedar Crest College. The fourth year consists of clinical training at one of the affiliated hospitals* of the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences (PA College).  Admission to Cedar Crest College does not guarantee admission to the hospital clinical year. Students must earn a minimum of 2.0 in each of the required supporting courses with a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or higher in order for the College to recommend the student for the clinical year. At the end of the fall semester of the junior year, the student applies for admission to the clinical year through the Coordinator of Nuclear Medicine at Cedar Crest College. The Admissions Committee of the PA College decides which students will be accepted into the clinical year and also designates the hospital assignment.  The program at PA College is approved by the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology.

The affiliated hospitals are: Good Samaritan Hospital (Lebanon, PA), Lancaster General Hospital (Lancaster, PA), Lewistown Hospital (Lewistown, PA), Memorial Hospital of York (York, PA) Meritus Medical Center (Hagerstown, MD), Peninsula Regional Medical Center (Salisbury, MD), Reading Hospital (Reading, PA), York Hospital (York, PA),  Lehigh Valley Health Network (Allentown, PA)  and St. Luke’s University and Health Network (Bethlehem, 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.

Total number of credits required by program: 128

Program Requirements

Admission Requirements

Traditional students may declare the major at the end of their sophomore year.

Prior to declaring a major in Nuclear Medicine Technology the following requirements must be met:

  1. 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)
  2. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.750 to remain in the major.

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 2.750 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 2.750. 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 2.750 to remain in the major.

Course Requirements

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 227 Microbiology 4 credits
BIO 304 Pathophysiology 3 credits 

BIO 160 Introduction to Allied Health 1 credit
CHE 111 Chemical Principles 4 credits 

CHE 112 Chemical Equilibrium and Analysis 4 credits
OR CHE 111 and CHE 203 Survey of Organic Chemistry 4 or 3 credits

MAT 110 Probability and Statistics 3 credits 

MAT Algebra or above 3 credits 

PHY 101 Introductory College Physics I 4 credits 

PHY 102 Introductory College Physics II 4 credits 

THS 105 Public Speaking 3 credits

Health Care Administration (9 credits; * for Health Care Management Certificate)
ACC 101 Financial Accounting 3 credits
BUA 211 Intro to Health Care Systems* 3 credits

BUA 258 Health Care Management* 3 credits

BUA 340 Health Care Finance* 3 credits
BUA 341 Health Care Practice Management* OR
BUA 220 Human Resources Management 3 credits

Clinical Year at Affiliated Hospitals (Courses at PA College)
NMT 411 Nuclear Imaging and Instrumentation I (NMT 201) 4 credits

NMT 412 Nuclear Imaging and Instrumentation II (NMT 202) 6 credits 

NMT 413 Clinical Practicum I (NMT 211)
5 credits
NMT 414 Clinical Practicum II (NMT 212) 5 credits

NMT 415 Cross-sectional Anatomy (BIO 195) 1 credit 

NMT 421 Nuclear Physics and Radiation Safety (NMT 203) 2 credits

NMT 425 Patient Care (HSC 101) 1 credit 

NMT 451 Clinical Seminar/Research (NMT 213) 6 credits

NMT 452 Patient Ethics (PHI 210)1 credit 

NMT 462 Medical Terminology (HSC 100)1 credit

Liberal Arts Curriculum Requirements

Students fulfill the Technology, Oral Presentation, Information Literacy and Public Speaking requirements through successful completion of the following required courses:
BIO 122, BIO 235, BIO 236, THS 105, NMT 411, NMT 412, NMT 421, and NMT 451.

Transfer students must complete the following courses at Cedar Crest College

BIO 236 Cell and Molecular Biology
BIO 304 Pathophysiology
One three/four-credit upper level biology elective (excluding NMT courses) 3-4 credits

It is a general Cedar Crest College policy that a student must complete a minimum of 18 credits of major requirements through Cedar Crest College course work (see Matriculation and Degree Information, Declaration of Majors and Minors).

Admission to the Clinical Year

Nuclear Medicine Technology, as any profession, has some potential risks/hazards related to the occupation; students may be exposed to ionizing radiation, blood and body fluids including urine, feces, vomitus, etc. on a daily basis.

Students are required to learn and perform venipuncture and to inject radiopharmaceuticals. Nuclear Medicine Technology students are required to assess patients and provide general nursing care to patients while in nuclear medicine departments of our affiliated hospitals.

An extensive amount of verbal communication and self-motivation is required in the clinical year. If you are a shy, introverted individual who prefers to stand back and observe before attempting something new and/or who hesitates to speak up, please consider other career options. The clinical year is accelerated and students are required to immediately begin interacting with patients and instructors and attempting procedures.

No student will be allowed to begin the clinical year without documentation that she/he has met all of the following requirements:

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75
  • Completed an application to PA College of Health Science
  • Successfully completed an interview with the NMT program coordinator
  • Completed Health History Form and Physical exam form
  • Provided documentation of immunity to Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella, and Hepatitis B. Proof of Tetanus/Diphtheria (TD or Tetanus/Diphtheria/acellular Pertussis (Tdap) within the last ten years
  • Provided documentation of the Negative two-step TB skin test within three months prior to start date
  • Completed a CPR Certification (Health Care Professional Level)
  • Completed a FBI Identification Record Request – Federal Criminal History Check
  • Completed and submitted a Child Abuse Check
  • Provided proof of health insurance. CCC health insurance is acceptable
  • Completed all other documents required by the affiliated teaching hospitals

Nuclear Medicine Technology students are responsible for any fees involved when obtaining the required health insurance, physical exam, background checks, immunizations, CPR training, drug screen and other requirements.

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 2.75), the available number of positions in the clinical program, and student interviews conducted by the educational and clinical program coordinators.

The required clinical experience (year) necessitates working with the public in a
professional setting.  Therefore, 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.

Travel Policies

Travel to, from and within the affiliated hospitals and to any additional coursework required in the fourth year is the responsibility of the student.

Health Requirements

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.

Clinical Training in Nuclear Medicine Technology

The nuclear medicine clinical training begins in August and is 12 months in duration. This will involve commuting one day per week to PA College for classroom instruction (fall and spring semesters) and commuting to the affiliate hospital three days per week for clinical practice. Students in the clinical year of this program will earn Cedar Crest College credit. 

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-two credits are awarded for the satisfactory completion of the clinical year.

Upon completion of the Nuclear Medicine Technology program at LGCNHS, a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology from Cedar Crest College and a Certificate in Nuclear Medicine Technology from the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences will be awarded.

Program Completion

After completing the clinical year, each student should have attained a level of knowledge and skill to be capable of performing the various tasks as outlined in the Accreditation Standards for Nuclear Medicine Technologist Education (2010). The student is then qualified to take one of the national registry examinations (ARRT or NMTCB) in order to become a Certified Nuclear Medicine Technologists (CNMT).

The granting of a degree or certificate from Cedar Crest College is no guarantee that you will be licensed, certified, or accepted for practice by professional licensing agencies.

Program Outcomes

All Majors within the Department of Biological Sciences have the following three outcomes:

  • Students can apply the foundation concepts and principles of the Biological Sciences, including cellular structure and function, genetics and molecular biology, evolution and organismal diversity, and ecology.
  • Students can discuss the interaction of science and society, including the ethical practice of science, within the local, national, and global community.
  • Students can write about and interpret the methodologies of scientific research.

Nuclear Medicine Technology Major Outcomes

  • Students can apply anatomical and physiological concepts of the organization and interrelationships of body organ systems and homeostasis to diagnostic imaging and health care.

Nuclear Medicine Technology Major Outcomes

  • Students can apply utilization of appropriate techniques, operation of gamma cameras and administration of radiopharmaceutical and non-radiopharmaceutical agents to ensure quality diagnostic images.
  • Students can demonstrate the ability to educate patients/public regarding imaging procedures, radiopharmaceuticals and radiation safety.
  • Students can demonstrate the procurement, identification, documentation, preparation, quality control, dispensing, dose calibration, storage, disposal and safe handling or radiopharmaceuticals and their oral, inhalation or intravenous administration.