Nuclear Medicine Technology

Career

Prepares students as entry level nuclear medicine technologists in a specialized area of diagnostic imaging which includes body structure and function. Nuclear medicine technologists perform procedures to assist physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Graduates will be prepared to take the national certification exam for nuclear medicine technologists. All courses require a grade of “C” or higher.

Success Rate
The Nuclear Medicine Technology Program continues to obtain exemplary outcomes. Graduation rate for the class of 2013 was 66.7% for those initially enrolled in the cohort. This number does not include students that joined the cohort due to delay in program completion. The graduating class of 2013 obtained a 100% pass rate on national certification exams.


Courses Credits
English  
EN 101–English Composition 3
Mathematics  
MA 130–College Algebra 3
MA 206–Elementary Statistics 3
Biological & Physical Sciences  
BI 103–Anatomy & Physiology 4
BI 104–Anatomy & Physiology 4
CH 101–General Chemistry 4
PY 101–Survey of Physics 3
Social & Behavioral Sciences  
PS 101–General Psychology 3
Arts & Humanities  
CMSP 105–Group Discussion ‡ 3
Physical Education Elective 1
Other Requirements  
MDA 108–Basic Medical Terminology 1
NM 100–Physics for Nuclear Medicine Technology 3
NM 102–Nuclear Medicine Technology 4
NM 103–Nuclear Medicine Techniques I 3
NM 104–Clinical Nuclear Medicine Technology I 2
NM 105–Nuclear Medicine Techniques II 3
NM 107–Instrumentation and Computers in Nuclear Medicine Technology 5
NM 201–Medical Radiobiology 2
NM 202–Clinical Nuclear Medicine Technology II 3
NM 203–Radiopharmacy and Radiation Chemistry 2
NM 204–Clinical Nuclear Medicine Technology III 4
NM 205–Professional Development in Nuclear Medicine 2
Total 65

‡ All degree-seeking students must complete a Cultural Competency course in order to graduate. CMSP 105 fulfills this requirement.
 
Prepares students as entry level nuclear medicine technologists in a specialized area of diagnostic imaging which includes body structure and function. Nuclear medicine technologists perform procedures to assist physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Graduates will be prepared to take the national certification exam for nuclear medicine technologists. Prerequisites for this program include EN 101, MA 111 (preferred) or MA 130 or Math course approved by program manager, PY 101 or PY 201 (preferred), MA 206, BI 104, CIS 101, and MDA 109. All courses require a grade of “C” or higher.

Gainful Employment Information

Courses Credits
NM 100–Physics for Nuclear Medicine Technology 3
NM 102–Nuclear Medicine Technology 4
NM 103–Nuclear Medicine Techniques I 3
NM 104–Clinical Nuclear Medicine Technology I 2
NM 105–Nuclear Medicine Techniques II 3
NM 107–Instrumentation and Computers in Nuclear Medicine Technology 5
NM 201–Medical Radiobiology 2
NM 202–Clinical Nuclear Medicine Technology II 3
NM 203–Radiopharmacy and Radiation Chemistry 2
NM 204–Clinical Nuclear Medicine Technology III 4
NM 205–Professional Development in Nuclear Medicine 2
Total 33
Students must submit a Nuclear Medicine Technology application to the Department of Allied Health and Wellness by the posted deadline April 1 for fall admission.  In addition, the following must be met:
  1. Successful completion of the 8 core courses within 2 attempts of each course (EN 101, BI 103, BI 104, CH 101, PY 101, MA 130, MA 206 and MDA 108) by August prior to the program start date.*
  2. Attainment of at least a “C” in all prerequisite coursework within 2 attempts of each course. ** A minimum overall GPA of 2.00 is required for previous core prerequisite college work.   Competitive GPAs for accepted applicants are typically much higher than the minimum requirements.
  3. Have all official transcripts from colleges/universities sent to the Welcome Center by April 1st.
  4. All applicants must document at least four hours of shadowing/observation in nuclear medicine technology, prior to or concurrent with application. ***Additional shadowing (40-50 hrs.) is recommended for applicants who have no prior health care work experience. This experience can be arranged by contacting a convenient institutional imaging or therapy department. Documentation must be submitted on the day of your application interview.  Please have the department complete the verification form indicating that the shadowing/observation was conducted. 
  5. Submission of a 1-2 page paper discussing your shadowing experience.  All papers must be typed; double spaced, printed and stapled, and must include your name and FCC Student ID number.  Papers not meeting these criteria will not be accepted or reviewed.  Papers will be due the day of your application interview.  Please see rubric for grading guide.
  6. Schedule and attend application interview.

The selection process is based on a point system.  The points will only be assigned to those students that have applied to Frederick Community College and also completed and submitted the Application for Nuclear Medicine Technology. 

Admission decisions are based on the successful completion of course requirements; college grade point averages from the eight core prerequisites; personal interviews; and assessment of motivation, knowledge of the discipline(s) and personal qualities appropriate for the profession and for successful completion of the program. 
Students with the highest point total will be accepted conditionally into the Nuclear Medicine Program and will be informed of their status on or before May 1st.

Students with equal point values will be ordered by GPA from highest to lowest.

Students not gaining admittance to the Nuclear Medicine Program and wishing to be considered for the next year must reapply.


*Acceptance is contingent upon earning grades of “C” or better in any prerequisites being completed in the spring and summer semesters.
** 2 attempts include transfer credits, withdrawals, and audits.
*** This is only a recommendation. It is not mandated for program admission.


 
Subject Points
EN101 1
BI103 1
BI104 1
CH101 1
PY101 1
MA103 1
MA206 1
MDA108 1
Frederick, Carroll or Howard County Resident 1
GPA: 4.00-3.50 5
         3.49-3.00 4
         2.99-2.50 3
         2.49-2.00 2
Application Interview 3
Shadowing Paper 2
TOTAL 19
What is the difference between Nuclear Medicine and Radiology?
The main difference between Nuclear Medicine (including PET) and all other diagnostic modalities is that Nuclear Medicine demonstrates function (physiology) as well as structure (anatomy) of organs or organ systems.
 
How can you work safely around radiation?
You can work safely around radiation by following a few simple precautions:
  1. Use time, distance, shielding, and containment to reduce exposure.
  2. Wear dosimeters (e.g., film, TLD or OSL badges) if issued.
  3. FCC provides students with whole body and ring badges to monitor radiation exposure on a quarterly basis.  At the end of the program students are provided with an end wearer report to document their exposure for the length of time within the program. 
  4. Avoid contact with the contamination.  
  5. Wear protective clothing that, if contaminated, can be removed. 
  6. Wash with nonabrasive soap and water any part of the body that may have come in contact with the contamination.  
  7. Assume that all materials, equipment, and personnel that came in contact with the contamination are contaminated. Radiological monitoring is recommended before leaving the scene.
 
How long does it take to finish the NMT Program?
The Nuclear Medicine Technology Program takes 21 months to complete after the completion of the 8 core prerequisites whether you are pursuing the certificate or the associate degree.
 
Will classes taken at another college transfer?
A student who has completed any or all of the general education (pre-requisite) courses required in either of the nuclear medicine program may transfer those courses into the program from an accredited college or university. Only grades of “C” or better may be applied toward the nuclear medicine program.
 
To obtain an evaluation of your college credits, the student must request an official transcript to be sent from the transfer school. The Transfer Services Specialist will evaluate the credits and transfer in any courses that may equate to FCC courses in the major. The maximum number of credits accepted as transfer to FCC is 45.
 
What pre-requisites are required for the Nuclear Medicine Program?
BI103 - Anatomy & Physiology I
BI104 - Anatomy & Physiology II
CH101- General Chemistry
PY201 - Fundamentals of Physics
EN101 - English Composition I
MA111 - Precalculus
MA206 - Elementary Statistics
MDA109 - Medical Terminology
 
When do the Nuclear Medicine Technology clinical classes begin?
Nuclear Medicine Clinical rotations begin the third semester of the program, summer semester.  Students will complete over 1200 clinical contact hours.
 
How do I apply for admission into the Nuclear Medicine Technology?
Applications for can be found on the FCC web site www.frederick.edu.
 
When is the application deadline for the Nuclear Medicine Technology Program?
The deadline to apply to the Nuclear Medicine Technology Program is April 1st.
 
Which healthcare facilities are utilized for the clinical experiences?
Didactic instruction is held on campus while clinical instruction takes place at one of our affiliated clinical sites.  Students will be required to rotate to at least two clinical sites during the duration of the program.
Current affiliated sites include: 
  • Frederick Memorial Hospital
  • Community Radiology
  • Montgomery General Hospital
  • Northwest Hospital Center
  • Baltimore Washington Medical Center
  • Union Memorial Hospital
  • Shady Grove Adventist Hospital
  • Washington Adventist Hospital
  • Inova Leesburg
  • Chambersburg Hospital 
 
What other requirements are there for nuclear medicine technology program?
  • Prospective students need to be aware that nuclear medicine involves contact with communicable diseases. Students must attend a yearly seminar on universal precautions for blood-borne pathogens and other hazards as required by OSHA.
  • Background check and drug screening.
  • Uniforms are required for clinical learning experiences. All students must wear the official school uniform.
  • Current CPR Certification (American Heart Association Health Care Provider Course)
  • All students entering nuclear medicine technology programs must meet the following health requirements:
  1. Physical exam
  2. Screening test for tuberculosis (annual)
  3. Rubella, Rubeola and Mumps titre and immunization, if necessary
  4. Varicella (chicken pox) titre and immunization, if necessary
  5. Hepatitis B screening, vaccine if necessary, or written waiver
  6. Any specific requirements of an agency
  • Conviction of a felony may prohibit the student from gaining licensure.
 
Will conviction of a felony or misdemeanor prohibit me from entering the nuclear medicine technology program?
 
No it will not. However, conviction of a felony or misdemeanor may prohibit the student from taking the licensure exam.
 
 
 
The objectives of the program are to develop professional entry-level Nuclear Medicine Technologist who will be able to:

  1. Perform all functions according to established policies, procedures, regulatory and accreditation requirements, as well as applicable professional standards.
  2. Produce images providing optimal information obtained with appropriate technique.
  3. Communicate in a professional, positive and tactful manner with patients, physicians, nurses, other health-care and non-health-care employees, as well as fellow clinical personnel.
  4. Maintain patient confidentiality and exercise ethical judgment, integrity, honesty, dependability and accountability in the performance of one’s responsibilities.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to trouble shoot and notify appropriate personnel.
  6. Assume responsibility for one’s work and for professional development.
  7. Apply critical thinking and problem solving in making decisions about imaging exams.
  8. Abide to the guidelines set forth by the Patient Bill of Rights.
  9. Adhere to the SNMTS Code of Ethics in professional practice.
Nuclear medicine technologists operate equipment that detects and maps radioactive trace materials put into a patient’s body to create diagnostic images. The images are produced on a computer screen or film for diagnosis by the healthcare team. Nuclear medicine can be used to obtain information about the structure and function of virtually every major organ system of the body.
 
FCC’s Nuclear Medicine Technology program offers a certificate option and an Associate of Applied (A.A.S.) degree. Students in the degree program complete 21 months of training to prepare for board certification and entry level employment. The program combines scientific research techniques with hands-on application in classroom and clinical environments. Students learn from nuclear medicine professionals who bring real-world experience to the classroom.
 
Graduates may work in hospitals, physicians’ offices and diagnostic imaging centers. Upon completion of the certificate or degree program, graduates will be eligible to sit for Nuclear Medicine Technology certification exams. The program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT).
 
FCC’s Nuclear Medicine Technology program teaches students:
  • skills for patient care,
  • diagnostic and therapeutic procedures,
  • radiation safety,
  • radiopharmacy,
  • instrumentation,
  • quality control,
  • manipulation of clinical data, and
  • how to perform phlebotomy.
 
Classroom instruction is held on campus while clinical instruction takes place at an affiliated clinical site, such as Frederick Memorial Hospital, Community Radiology, Montgomery General Hospital, Northwest Hospital Center, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Union Memorial Hospital, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, and others.  Students will complete more than 1,200 clinical contact hours.

Program Goals


FCC will provide students with gratifying learning experiences and career opportunities in a learning environment that will enable them with:
  • the ability to competently perform responsibilities regarding patient care, quality control, diagnostic procedures, radiopharmaceuticals, radionuclide therapies, in vivo diagnostic testing, in vitro diagnostic testing, transmission imaging and radiation safety.
  • critical thinking skills essential in the practice of nuclear medicine technology.
  • a high level of ethical and professional standards.
  • the ability to facilitate the needs of the community to understand nuclear medicine technology.
  • effective communication techniques required to interact successfully with patients and other members of the health care team.
  • values for a commitment to lifelong learning.
  • the ability to represent cultural diversity.

Program Benefits

  • Study in small cohort of 15 students
  • Learn from nuclear medicine professionals who bring real-world experience to the classroom
  • Combine scientific research techniques with hands-on application
  • Attain your own learning objectives

Skills You Will Learn

Knowledge in learning activities associated with
  • Patient care
  • Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
  • Radiation safety
  • Radiopharmacy
  • Instrumentation
  • Quality control
  • Manipulation of clinical data
  • Performing phlebotomy


Skills You Will Need

  • Communication skills sufficient to teach others, explain procedures, interact with others and convey information in writing
  • Provide services with compassion and respect
  • Provide care without discrimination
  • Confidentiality in accordance with state and federal regulations
  • Compliance with laws and regulations
  • Ability to recognize emergency situations and take appropriate actions
  • Emotional stability to assume responsibility for actions, provide patients with emotional support, adapt to environmental stress, and monitor own emotions

Job Shadowing


Job shadowing is a short-term experience designed to give students an up-close look at how an employee or group of workers do their jobs. All applicants must document at least four hours of shadowing/observation in nuclear medicine technology, prior to or concurrent with application to the program. Please contact Michele Tertel for a list of preferred sites to complete your clinical shadowing.
FCC has articulation agreements with the following institutions for students graduating with an A.A.S. in Nuclear Medicine Technology and who are looking for transfer opportunities. For more information, contact the Counseling & Advising Office at 301.846.2471.
  • University of Baltimore- B.S. Health Systems Management
  • University of Baltimore at Shady Grove- B.S. Health Systems Management

Nuclear Medicine Technology Flow Chart