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Career and Education Opportunities for Nuclear Medical Technologists in Rancho Cucamonga, California

Nuclear medical technologist career and educational opportunities abound in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Currently, 1,600 people work as nuclear medical technologists in California. This is expected to grow by 19% to about 1,900 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for nuclear medical technologists are expected to grow by about 16.3%. In general, nuclear medical technologists prepare, administer, and measure radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer studies utilizing a variety of radioisotope equipment.

Nuclear medical technologists earn about $38 per hour or $79,950 annually on average in California and about $32 per hour or $66,660 per year on average nationally. Nuclear medical technologists earn less than people working in the category of Radiology generally in California and less than people in the Radiology category nationally. Nuclear medical technologists work in a variety of jobs, including: radiologic technologist, nuclear cardiology technologist, and registered nuclear medicine technologist.

There are twenty-seven schools of higher education in the Rancho Cucamonga area, including one within twenty-five miles of Rancho Cucamonga where you can get a degree to start your career as a nuclear medical technologist. Given that the most common education level for nuclear medical technologists is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, it will take about two years to learn to be a nuclear medical technologist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Nuclear Medical Technologist

Nuclear Medical Technologist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, nuclear medical technologists prepare, administer, and measure radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer studies utilizing a variety of radioisotope equipment. They also prepare stock solutions of radioactive materials and calculate doses to be administered by radiologists.

Nuclear medical technologists dispose of radioactive materials and store radiopharmaceuticals, following radiation safety procedures. They also explain test procedures and safety precautions to patients and furnish them with assistance during test procedures. Equally important, nuclear medical technologists have to perform quality control checks on laboratory apparatus and cameras. They are often called upon to maintain and calibrate radioisotope and laboratory apparatus. They are expected to produce computer-generated or film images for interpretation by physicians. Finally, nuclear medical technologists gather data on patients' illnesses and medical history to guide the choice of diagnostic processes for therapy.

Every day, nuclear medical technologists are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for nuclear medical technologists to measure glandular activity, blood volume, red cell survival, and radioactivity of patient, using scanners, Geiger counters, scintillometers, and other laboratory apparatus. They are often called upon to train and supervise student or subordinate nuclear medicine technologists. They also detect and map radiopharmaceuticals in patients' bodies, using cameras to produce photographic or computer images. They are sometimes expected to design treatment processes for nuclear medicine treatment programs. Somewhat less frequently, nuclear medical technologists are also expected to add radioactive substances to biological specimens.

Nuclear medical technologists sometimes are asked to gather data on patients' illnesses and medical history to guide the choice of diagnostic processes for therapy. They also have to be able to record and process results of procedures and calculate, measure and record radiation dosages or radiopharmaceuticals received, used and disposed, using computers and following physicians' prescriptions. And finally, they sometimes have to calculate, measure and record radiation dosages or radiopharmaceuticals received, used and disposed, using computers and following physicians' prescriptions.

Like many other jobs, nuclear medical technologists must be reliable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Rancho Cucamonga include:

  • Dental Hygienist. Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop X-rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.
  • Pharmacist. Compound and dispense medications following prescriptions issued by physicians, dentists, or other authorized medical practitioners.
  • Physician Assistant. Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.
  • Radiation Therapist. Provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards. Duties may include reviewing prescription and diagnosis; acting as liaison with physician and supportive care personnel; preparing equipment, such as immobilization, treatment, and protection devices; and maintaining records, reports, and files. May assist in dosimetry procedures and tumor localization.
  • Radiological Technician. Maintain and use equipment and supplies necessary to demonstrate portions of the human body on x-ray film or fluoroscopic screen for diagnostic purposes.
  • Radiology Technologist. Take x-rays and Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT or CT) scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's blood stream for diagnostic purposes. Includes technologists who specialize in other modalities, such as computed tomography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Nuclear Medical Technologist Training

Loma Linda University - Loma Linda, CA

Loma Linda University, , Loma Linda, CA 92350. Loma Linda University is a small university located in Loma Linda, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 4,115 students. Loma Linda University has a one to two year program in Nuclear Medical Technology/Technologist which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Biomedical Electronics Technician: Biomedical electronics technicians are expected to obtain knowledge of the principles of modern biomedical techniques, the proper procedure in the care, handling and maintenance of biomedical equipment and to display an attitude/behavior expected of an electronics technician who works in a hospital or healthcare environment.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Nuclear Cardiology Technologist: Professional certification is a vital component of a successful career.

For more information, see the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board website.

LICENSES

Nuclear Medicine Technologist (NMT)

Licensing agency: Department of Health Services
Address: Radiologic Health Branch, P.O. Box 942732, Sacramento, CA 94234-7320

Phone: (916) 445-6695
Website: Department of Health Services Radiologic Health Branch

LOCATION INFORMATION: Rancho Cucamonga, California

Rancho Cucamonga, California
Rancho Cucamonga, California photo by Sfan00_IMG

Rancho Cucamonga is situated in San Bernardino County, California. It has a population of over 171,176, which has grown by 34.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Rancho Cucamonga, 128, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Rancho Cucamonga are valued at $207,800 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-nine new homes were built in Rancho Cucamonga, down from five hundred eighty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Rancho Cucamonga are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, public administration, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 32 minutes. More than 23.3% of Rancho Cucamonga residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.3%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Rancho Cucamonga is 9.2%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Rancho Cucamonga residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Alta Loma Christian Church, Grace Fellowship Church and The Lords House are all churches located in Rancho Cucamonga. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Rancho Cucamonga is home to the Etiwanda Fire Station and the John Rains House as well as Victoria Groves Park and Hermosa Park. Shopping malls in the area include Alta Loma Plaza Shopping Center, Alta Loma Square Shopping Center and AltaLoma Country Village Shopping Center.