Career and Education Opportunities for Nuclear Medical Technologists in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
If you want to be a nuclear medical technologist, the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 230 people are currently employed as nuclear medical technologists in Oklahoma. By 2016, this is expected to grow 10% to 260 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for nuclear medical technologists, which sees this job pool growing by about 16.3% over the next eight years. Nuclear medical technologists generally prepare, administer, and measure radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer studies utilizing a variety of radioisotope equipment.
Nuclear medical technologists earn about $29 hourly or $61,460 annually on average in Oklahoma and about $32 hourly or $66,660 per year on average nationally. Earnings for nuclear medical technologists are better than earnings in the general category of Radiology in Oklahoma and not quite as good as general Radiology category earnings nationally. People working as nuclear medical technologists can fill a number of jobs, such as: staff nuclear medicine technologist, radiation safety officer, and radioisotope technician.
The Oklahoma City area is home to forty-four schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Oklahoma City where you can get a degree 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
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 Oklahoma City 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.
- Medical Laboratory Technician. Perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.
- 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
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center - Oklahoma City, OK
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 1100 N Lindsay, Oklahoma City, OK 73104-5499. University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is a small university located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 3,884 students. University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center has a bachelor's degree program in Nuclear Medical Technology/Technologist which graduated eleven students in 2008.
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.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City is located in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma. It has a population of over 551,789, which has grown by 9.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Oklahoma City, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Oklahoma City cost $142,600 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, 1,474 new homes were built in Oklahoma City, down from 2,559 the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Oklahoma City are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 24.0% of Oklahoma City residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.1%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Oklahoma City is 6.5%, which is less than Oklahoma's average of 7.1%.
The percentage of Oklahoma City residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 65.7%, is more than both the national and state average. Grace Place Baptist Church, Grace Presbyterian Church and Grace United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Oklahoma City. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Oklahoma City is home to the Colonial Square and the 50 Penn Place as well as Rotary Park and River Park. Shopping malls in the area include 240 Plaza Shopping Center, 74 South Shopping Center and Council Crossings Shopping Center. Visitors to Oklahoma City can choose from Rodeway Inn Oklahoma City, Harvey Janitorial Sales and Market Source for temporary stays in the area.