Nuclear Medicine

Program Staff

Program Director:

David G. Totah, B.S., R.T. (R)(N)(ARRT), C.N.M.T.

Faculty:

Andrea Long, M.S., R.T. (N)(R)(CT)(ARRT), C.N.M.T., C.R.T.

Program Description

The program prepares students to use high-tech equipment and radioactive tracers in the physiological assessment of various organ systems. The Program combines the didactic classroom theoretical concepts with clinical education at various hospitals and clinics throughout Northern California to full integrate the student’s experience in the exciting field of Nuclear Medicine Technology.

Completion of the Nuclear Medicine Program is a prerequisite to obtaining eligibility to the American Registry Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) for Nuclear Medicine. Nuclear Medicine students may apply for the ARRT examination up to 90 days prior to their anticipated program completion date.

Nuclear Medicine students may also sit for the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB) certification examination. Students are permitted to apply for this exam two months prior to the anticipated date of program completion, but may not sit for the exam until after program completion.

State of California Certification from the California Department of Public Health is required for nuclear medicine technologists to work in California. Second-year Nuclear Medicine students are permitted to complete an examination administered through the Radiologic Health Branch (RHB) prior to graduation. Examination options can vary and details regarding this will be discussed with second-year students prior to application for this examination.

Nuclear Medicine certification is withheld until the Program Director has verified student competency and program completion.

Mission Statement

The Primary goal of the Nuclear Medicine Technology program is to educate students with didactic, laboratory, and clinical experiences and to provide an understanding of encompassing emerging technologies 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. The program promotes professional growth and life-long learning with emphasis on ethical behavior in all aspects of educational experiences. Program policies and procedures have been designed to meet those established by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Nuclear Medicine Technology.

Educational Goals of the Nuclear Medicine Program

  • Educate competent and compassionate Nuclear Medicine Technologists capable of functioning in any environment, within 18 months.
  • Provide a complete, up-to-date competency-based curriculum.
  • Prepare the student to think and act independently while developing skills in team building.
  • Instill appropriate attitudes and fosters affective growth in providing care and responding to the needs of a diverse service population.
  • 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).

Program Learning Outcomes of the Nuclear Medicine Program

Successful program graduates will demonstrate the following attributes:

  • Radiation Safety: Graduates will be able to apply appropriate radiation protection practices for patients, self, and other healthcare professionals.
  • Information Literacy: Graduates will be able to apply information from a variety of sources, including models, graphs and mathematics.
  • Clinical competence: Graduates will be able to demonstrate clinical competence in Nuclear Medicine.
  • Professionalism: Graduates will be able to demonstrate professionalism and a commitment to providing high standards of patient care.
  • Communication Skills: Graduates will able to demonstrate effective communication skills in a Healthcare environment.
  • Critical thinking: Graduates will be able to apply critical thinking while critiquing normal as well as non-standard exams.

Nuclear Medicine Exam Pass Rates

Year
ARRT
NMTCB
2008
100%
100%
2009
100%
100%
2010
83%
89%
2011
100%
100%
2012
100%
100%
2013
100%
100%

Nuclear Medicine Technologist Duties

The Nuclear Medicine Technologist has many facets of his/her job and responsibility. These include: preparation and injection of radiopharmaceuticals, patient care, learning to utilize sophisticated equipment to obtain high quality images of various abnormalities, demonstration by the distribution of these tracers, quality control on all equipment, and many aspects of radiation safety.

Prerequisites

All prerequisite requirements must be completed prior to applying to the program.

Applicants must have verification of completion of a minimum of an AA/AS degree from a regionally accredited institution.

All applicants must complete the following college-level courses with a minimum of 3 semester or 4 quarter credits and a grade of “C” or better:

  • College Algebra
  • Chemistry with a lab
  • General Physics: Courses should be designed for biological science students. Topics should include kinematics, Newton’s Laws, dynamics of rigid bodies, momentum, and work & energy.
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology with a lab (college level)
  • Humanities Course
  • Medical Terminology
  • Oral Communication
  • Social Science
  • Written Communication

NOTE: All foreign diplomas and transcripts must include a notarized translation in English and must be evaluated by a foreign transcript agency prior to submission.

Physical Requirements

  • Stand and/or walk up to 8 hours throughout an 8-hour shift.
  • Lift and move a maximum of a 290-pound patient in a 2-person/3-person transfer.
  • Must be able to operate and manipulate all nuclear medicine equipment.
  • Reach above shoulders up to 6 hours throughout an 8-hour shift.
  • Reach forward 18 inches holding an object up to 15 pounds.
  • Bend, crouch, or stoop 20 times per hour.
  • Push a patient in a wheelchair or gurney 300 feet or further, as required by structural design of the building.
  • Move loads of up to 45 pounds 25 times per hour.

Program Structure

The 18-month (6 quarters, 91 quarter credits) continuous Nuclear Medicine program provides didactic and clinical education for potential Nuclear Medicine Technologists. Clinical experience occurs at partnering medical centers and medical offices in Northern California. Program participants can expect substantial off-campus study and preparation for classroom lecture and lab exercises. Major holidays are observed and break periods are observed between academic quarters. Annual academic calendars are published in advance. Upon completion of this program, graduates are eligible to sit for state and national certification examinations.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate with a certificate of completion or bachelor degree from any of the KPSAHS programs, students are required to successfully complete all didactic, lab, and clinical education courses and hours. In addition, all financial obligations to the program must be fulfilled.

The following requirements must be successfully completed:

Certificate Program

  • TOTAL: 91 Quarter Credits

Bachelor's Program

  • 91 Quarter Credits – Nuclear Medicine (Certificate Program)
  • 12 Quarter Credits – Upper Division GE, accepted in transfer
  • TOTAL: 103 Quarter Credits

Upper Division Requirements for General Education for Degree Program Only

Twelve (12) quarter credits of upper division general education from the following grouping in subjects of:

  • Diversity
  • Ethics
  • Management

Upper Division General Education credit may be obtained at KPSAHS.

Transfer of Upper Division General Education credit may be accepted for courses which meet the following requirements:

  • Credit received from a regionally-accredited institution
  • Coursework demonstrates learning outcomes deemed to be comparable to KPSAHS GE Course Learning Outcomes.

*Scientific Inquiry is required of all students, with remaining courses to be selected from a minimum of two subjects from those identified.

Tuition

Tuition is $2,909.50 per quarter or $17,457.00 for the entire program (for students starting in 2014 - does not apply to currently enrolled students). Students must also purchase the required books and uniforms. The cost of textbooks,clinical education materials and lab and registration fees is approximately $1,200.00.

Please Note: The information provided in this website is subject to change without notice.

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Related Links

Society of Nuclear Medicine
interactive.snm.org

Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology
www.jrcnmt.org

Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education
www.bppe.ca.gov

American Society of Nuclear Cardiology
www.asnc.org

Department of Health Services-Radiologic Health Branch
www.cdph.ca.gov

Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board
www.nmtcb.org