NUCLEAR MEDICINE TECHNOLOGIST
The Nuclear Medicine Technologist program provides enlisted personnel from multi-Services with a basic knowledge of applied technical mathematics, applied nuclear physics, applied technical chemistry, radiation safety, radiation instrumentation, radio pharmacy, radiation biology, hematology and in vitro procedures, diagnostic procedures, radionuclide therapy procedures, healthcare administration and patient care for the imaging professional, and alternate imaging modalities. The training consists of lectures, group activities, demonstrations, hands-on instruction and clinical practice. Performance exercises, presentations, written examinations, and clinical/practicum are used to assess accumulation and retention of knowledge and skills.
| US Air Force
AFSC: Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Program Length: 776 hours
Iterations per year: 2
NEC: Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Program Length: 800 hours
Iterations per year: 2
School Code 083
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A Nuclear Medicine Technologist (NMT) is an allied health professional who, under the direction of an authorized user, is committed to applying the art and skill of diagnostic imaging and therapeutics through the safe and effective use of radionuclides.
The instructional design of this program’s courses is group-lock step. This is a consolidated program with three military services that has a two phase, field of study schedule. Resident training is first conducted at the METC and then the student transitions to clinical training that is conducted at military and/or civilian medical treatment facilities (MTF).
Upon initial entry to METC, students are provided formal education and training that develops them into entry-level Nuclear Medicine Technologists within medical treatment facilities.
Students will learn the nuclear medicine mission and scope of practice. Students training will include: applied mathematics, chemistry, physics, radiation safety, radiopharmacy, radiation biology, diagnostic imaging procedures, radiation therapy, radiation instrumentation, patient care, and alternate imaging modalities.
Students will also learn the responsibilities of an NMT that include, but are not limited to: patient contact, the preparation and administration of radioactive chemical compounds, patient imaging procedures including computer processing and image enhancement, laboratory testing, patient preparation for radioactive tracers and radioactive therapy, quality control, and radiation safety.
Methods of instruction include, but are not limited to: lecture, demonstration, online materials, simulations, laboratory practice, and practical exercises. Quality assurance and safety techniques are emphasized throughout the program.
Clinical training provides students with clinical knowledge and hands-on experiential training which consists of clinical practicum in a MTF. The program prepares the student to exercise judgment and accept responsibility in performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in the care of nuclear medicine patients. Students apply the concepts and theories learned in the didactic portion under the supervision of staff nuclear medicine technologists and physicians.
Clinical rotations provide students training and experience in: diagnostic imaging, radiopharmaceutical preparation and administration, therapeutic use of radionuclides, and radiation safety. Upon successful completion of the NMT program, nuclear medicine technologists can independently prepare and administer radiopharmaceuticals, image patients with a scintillation gamma camera, process studies using various computer enhancement techniques, assist physicians with radioactive therapies, and perform equipment quality control procedures.
Proficiency advancement in clinical applications is determined by the program director and clinical advisor/coordinator on a case-by-case basis.
Nuclear Medicine Instructors
The NMT Program is administered by six nationally registered nuclear medicine technologists. There is at least one representative from each military service that sends students to the program.
Curriculum/Courses, Program Length, and Locations
The NMT Program is divided into two phases. Phase I is the didactic portion which is 99 training days long at the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC), Fort Sam Houston, TX.
In Phase I, the student completes twelve courses that provide the knowledge, information, and skills necessary to be successful while working in a nuclear medicine clinic. These courses are: (1) math; (2) nuclear physics; (3) chemistry; (4) radiation safety; (5) radiation instrumentation; (6) radiopharmacy; (7) radiation biology; (8) hematology; (9) diagnostic procedures; (10) radiation therapy; (11) patient care; and (12) alternate imaging modalities (Positron Emission Tomography, Computed Tomography, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging).
Upon successful completion of Phase I, the student is transferred to a nuclear medicine clinic at a military medical center for clinical training (Phase II). The exact medical center depends on whether the student is Navy or Air Force.
Phase II is 161 training days. In this clinical phase of training, the student works alongside nationally registered technologists who demonstrate the practices and procedures discussed in Phase I. Under a clinical coordinator's tutelage, the student becomes competent in the myriad of diagnostic imaging procedures, radiopharmacy operations, and various other tasks essential to working in a nuclear medicine clinic. The specific clinical rotations in Phase II include: (1) diagnostic imaging; (2) radiopharmacy; (3) nuclear laboratory; (4) therapy procedures; (5) radiation safety; (6) administrative procedures; and (7) continuing education, which is followed by a senior rotation.
Phase II sites include:
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, VA
Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA
San Antonio Military Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX
Madigan Army Medical Center, Fort Lewis, Tacoma, WA
William Beaumont Army Medical Center, El Paso, TX
Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, GA
Audie Murphy VA,, San Antonio, TX
David Grant USAF Medical Center, Travis AFB, CA
Wright-Patterson Medical Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
Keesler USAF Medical Center, Keesler AFB, MS
Service Specific Information
In order to attend the NMT Program, certain service-specific requirements must be met:
Program accepts E-4 to E-5 personnel.
Must possess 4ROX1 AFSC (Radiology Technician).
Must re-enlist or extend to have 36 months of service after graduation of Phase II.
Program accepts E-1 to E-6 personnel.
Must have completed college level algebra and a physical science course with a grade of "C" or better within the last 36 months.
Must re-enlist or extend to have 52 months of service after graduation.
Accreditation or Related Information:
Graduates are eligible to take national credentialing examinations through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists* (WWW.ARRT.ORG
) and the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board** (WWW.NMTCB.ORG
) upon meeting degree requirements. The Nuclear Medicine Technologist program is granted college credit from the College of Allied Health Sciences (CAHS).
*The ARRT will only accept applicants who have earned an associate degree (or more advanced degree) from an accrediting agency recognized by the ARRT. The degree will not need to be in nuclear medicine science, and it can be earned before entering the educational program or after graduation from the program.
**The NMTCB will only accept entry-level applications from graduates of a programmatically accredited nuclear medicine technology program. The NMTCB has granted METC’s Nuclear Medicine program a waiver to challenge the NMTCB registry
|Navy Lead Instructor
|Air Force Lead Instructor
|Army Lead Instructor