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Career and Education Opportunities for Nuclear Medical Technologists in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

If you want to be a nuclear medical technologist, the Sioux Falls, South Dakota area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 110 people are currently employed as nuclear medical technologists in South Dakota. By 2016, this is expected to grow 19% to about 130 people employed. 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.

Income for nuclear medical technologists is about $26 hourly or $54,850 yearly on average in South Dakota. Nationally, their income is about $32 hourly or $66,660 yearly. Nuclear medical technologists earn less than people working in the category of Radiology generally in South Dakota and less than people in the Radiology category nationally. Jobs in this field include: nuclear medicine technologist, isotope technician, and nuclear cardiology technologist.

The Sioux Falls area is home to ten schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Sioux Falls where you can get a degree as a nuclear medical technologist. The most common level of education for nuclear medical technologists is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. You can expect to spend about two years studying 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 Sioux Falls include:

  • Cardiac Technician. Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary-functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.
  • 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

Southeast Technical Institute - Sioux Falls, SD

Southeast Technical Institute, 2320 N Career Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57107-1301. Southeast Technical Institute is a small school located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,138 students. Southeast Technical Institute has a two to four year program in Nuclear Medical Technology/Technologist which graduated twenty-seven 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Sioux Falls, South Dakota photo by AlexiusHoratius

Sioux Falls is located in Minnehaha County, South Dakota. It has a population of over 154,997, which has grown by 25.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Sioux Falls, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Sioux Falls cost $149,700 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, five hundred eighty-six new homes were built in Sioux Falls, down from 1,000 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Sioux Falls are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 16 minutes. More than 27.8% of Sioux Falls residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Sioux Falls is 5.1%, which is greater than South Dakota's average of 4.5%.

The percentage of Sioux Falls residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 66.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Messiah Church, Sunnycrest Church and First Convenant Church are some of the churches located in Sioux Falls. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Sioux Falls is home to the Elmwood Golf Course and the Cactus Hills Country Club as well as Pioneers of Minnehaha County Monument and Picasso Park. Visitors to Sioux Falls can choose from Kelly Inn, Fairfield Inn Sioux Falls and Albert House for temporary stays in the area.