Nuclear medicine specialists help treat disease and image the body. In the Diagnostic Medical Imaging Nuclear Medicine (DMIN) program at College of DuPage, students learn skills necessary to produce high-quality diagnostic images of patients.
Throughout the program, nuclear medicine students will learn how to:
- Deliver compassionate patient care
- Abstract data from patient records
- Prepare, calculate and administer radiopharmaceuticals
- Operate scanning equipment and perform computer acquisition
- Analyze patient studies and assist physicians
The program is 15-months and includes nuclear medicine classes on clinical nuclear medicine and procedures, nuclear physics, radiation detection with imaging and non-imaging instrumentation, safety and biology, radioactive material regulations, radiopharmacy, positron emission tomography, computer applications and patient care. Students will spend three days per week at the clinical affiliate and two days per week at the College.
Upon successful completion, students are eligible to sit for the certification exams administered by the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB) and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT).
In addition to enrolling at College of DuPage, students must also complete a separate admissions process for this program. For more information, read through the Nuclear Medicine Admissions Packet.
Determine Your Path
Nuclear medicine technologists prepare and administer radioactive drugs to patients for imaging or treatment.
Whether you are preparing for a career in nuclear medicine, planning to transfer to a four-year college or university or changing career paths, COD offers:
- Dedicated instructors with years of practical industry experience, certification, and licensing.
- Instruction in top-notch facilities and on cutting-edge equipment.
- Flexible course schedules with day and evening classes, online learning and accelerated hybrid classes.
- Affordable programs that get you on the fast track to success without breaking the bank.
The Nuclear Medicine Technology certificate involves clinical education. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible for two certification boards: American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and Nuclear Medicine Technologist Certification Board (NMTCB). In addition, graduates must also obtain licensure in the State of Illinois with IEMA (Illinois Emergency Management Agency).
The Nuclear Medicine program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Nuclear Medicine Technology. In 2005, there were 100 accredited programs in the continental United States and Puerto Rico. In addition, the following organizations recognize the COD Nuclear Medicine program accreditation:
- American College of Radiology
- American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
- American Society of Clinical Pathologists
- American Society of Radiologic Technologists
- Society of Nuclear Medicine, Society of Nuclear Medicine - Technologist Section
- American Medical Association
Graduate Outcomes Report
Graduate achievement data is an indicator of program effectiveness, demonstrating the extent to which a program achieves its goals. The current report on graduate achievement data, identified by program, is available on the JRCNMT website.
The goal of the Nuclear Medicine Technology Advanced Certificate program is to educate students with didactic, laboratory and clinical experiences in preparation for a health career as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. The graduate will deliver compassionate care in the use of radiopharmaceuticals and imaging techniques, and function as an integral member of the health care team with competence and confidence.
Program policies and procedures have been designed to meet or exceed those established by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Nuclear Medicine Technology.
- Educate competent and compassionate Nuclear Medicine Technologists, capable of functioning in any environment, within 15 months.
- Provide a complete, up-to-date competency-based curriculum.
- Prepare the student to think and act independently.
- Prepare the student for entry into the ever-changing Nuclear Medicine work environment.
- Prepare the student to achieve a satisfactory registry result on the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT) and/or the Nuclear Medicine Certification Boards (NMTCB).
- Provide accurate student advisement to aid in student retention, course completion, program completion and possible future job placement.
- Provide opportunities for continuing education for Nuclear Medicine Technologists.
“COD was very accommodating in helping me get the education I needed. The program director even helped me get a clinical site that was closer to where I lived so that I could get the experience necessary to succeed without having to drive so far.” - Reid NussbaumReid's COD Story
“Try and get multiple licenses like CT and MRI as well, because that will lead to better job opportunities.” - Brian CairnsBrian's COD Story
Get Started Today
Get started in the Nuclear Medicine program by following the directions in the admissions packet. The packet contains a checklist that you will need to follow in order to be eligible for admission.
Academic and Career Pathways give you a roadmap to achieving your career goals. Follow a pathway based on your degree that outlines which classes you need to take and when so you graduate on time or move on to the next phase in your career.
Diagnostic Medical Imaging – Nuclear Medicine Program graduates will:
- Demonstrate knowledge of written and oral communication
- Demonstrate professionalism and compassion when interacting with patients
- Demonstrate patient confidentiality and compliance with the all privacy standards according to institutional compliance of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
- Demonstrate ability to provide basic nursing care and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation
- Demonstrate appropriate actions for confirmation when a patient is presented for a nuclear medicine procedure
- Demonstrate the ability to assess and describe patient clinical presentation
- Demonstrate knowledge of anatomy and physiological function of specific organs or organ systems on a nuclear medicine image
- Demonstrate knowledge of the pathological processes within the organs or organ systems being evaluated
- Demonstrate departmental radiation safety and emergency procedures
- Demonstrate knowledge of radiopharmaceuticals, their characteristics, and biodistribution that are used for specific nuclear medicine procedures
- Demonstrate knowledge of identifying indications for nuclear medicine diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
- Demonstrate the ability to identify and perform patient preparation requirements for specific diagnostic and therapeutic studies
- Demonstrate ability to perform mathematical calculations of volume, concentration, and decay for specific radiopharmaceutical kit preparations, and patient doses
- Demonstrate ability to operate radiation detection equipment: dose calibrators, survey meters, multichannel analyzers and thyroid probes
- Demonstrate ability to operate specific clinical site imaging instrumentation: planar and tomographic
- Demonstrate patient positioning as per protocols
- Demonstrate ability in computer acquisition and processing of nuclear medicine planar and tomographic studies
- Demonstrate ability to recognize anatomical landmarks that help identify the radiopharmaceuticals, normal variants, abnormal pathology and imaging protocols used in the acquisition
- Demonstrate knowledge in any pitfalls, radiopharmacy techniques, dose administration, image acquisition, and specific processing of nuclear medicine procedures that will enhance or degrade the quality and diagnostic accuracy of a nuclear medicine procedure
- Demonstrate the purpose and use of any necessary ancillary equipment required for a specific imaging or non-imaging procedure and demonstrate its operation
- Demonstrate ability to perform departmental quality assurance (instruments and radiopharmaceuticals) as determined by the clinical instructor
- Demonstrate the ability to prepare, dispense and administer radiopharmaceuticals orally or intravenously
- Demonstrate ability to competently perform the following studies available per clinical rotation: radioactive material handling, storage, disposal and clean up, geiger mueller monitoring and area surveys, radioactive dose receipt and calibrations, removable contamination wipe testing, scintillation camera quality assurance, SPECT (single photon emission computerized tomography) camera operation, PET/CT(positron emission tomography/computerized tomography) operation and procedures, dose calibrator quality assurance, radiopharmacy procedures, nuclear procedures including but not limited to: in vitro, non-imaging, central nervous system, myocardial, endocrine, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, hepatobiliary, skeletal, respiratory, tumor and infection whole body studies, therapeutic studies, and pediatric studies
- Demonstrate knowledge of personal radiation safety
- Demonstrate the proper use of body mechanics in the guiding and/or assisting the patient to move to and from the standing position, wheelchair, or cart to the scanning table in a safe manner.
- Demonstrate the ability to interact in a professional manner with other health care personnel involved in the care of the patient
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Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to your frequently asked questions regarding the Nuclear Medicine program.
Nuclear medicine is a scientific and clinical discipline involving the diagnostic and therapeutic use of radionuclides. Nuclear Medicine Technologists help treat disease and image the body.
Nuclear medicine differs from other diagnostic imaging technologies because it determines the presence of disease on the basis of biological changes rather than changes in organ structure.
Nuclear medicine technologists have a wide range of responsibilities, including patient care, abstracting data from patient records, calculating doses for In Vivo and In Vitro studies, preparing and administering radiopharmaceuticals, operating scanning equipment, performing computer acquisition and analysis of patient studies, and assisting the physician when using radiopharmaceuticals.
Nuclear medicine technologists should be sensitive to patients' physical and psychological
needs. They must be able to pay attention to detail, follow instructions and work
as part of a team. In addition, operating complicated equipment requires mechanical
ability and manual dexterity. These professionals must also be willing and able to
spend much of the day on their feet.
There are several questions that might help determine whether a career in nuclear medicine is right for you:
- Do I have a passion for helping others?
- Do I enjoy working with computer technology?
- Am I able to communicate well with others?
- Were math, biology and chemistry interesting classes for me in high school?