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Nuclear Medicine Technology

The Program in Nuclear Medicine Technology 

Description of the Profession:

Nuclear Medicine Technology is the medical specialty concerned with the use of small amounts of radioactive material (radiopharmaceuticals) for diagnostic, therapeutic, and research purposes. Nuclear medicine technologists typically administer various radiopharmaceuticals to patients according to established protocols, and then operate sophisticated imaging cameras to obtain diagnostic images for radiologist interpretation. Nuclear medicine technologists must be knowledgeable in radiation safety, radiopharmacy, instrumentation, patient care, patient imaging, and regulatory compliance. The professional organization for nuclear medicine is the Society of Nuclear Medicine

The Old Dominion University Program in Nuclear Medicine Technology:

Description: The Nuclear Medicine Technology (NMED) program is a nationally accredited program that offers undergraduates an opportunity to earn a Bachelors of Science degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology. The ODU NMED program has graduated nearly 150 students since it's inception in 1987.  The program leads to a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Medicine Technology (BSNMT).  The Program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT) and can accept 12 students annually. The NMED program includes a variety of on and off-campus courses, over 1300 hours of clinical experiences, as well as one distance class - offered through TELETECHNET.

Mission: The NMED program supports the stated mission of the College of Health Sciences by preparing competent, qualified nuclear medicine technology  professionals with practice, management, research and teaching skills to address the changing health needs of the region, state and nation. Further,  the NMED program provides leadership in healthcare by offering excellent educational experiences in a quality learning environment to facilitate the development of competent, caring health professionals.

Points of Pride

  •  Accreditation-Accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology since 1991.  The program is one of  approximately100 accredited NMED program in the United States and one of three programs in the State of Virginia.
  • Clinical Affiliations-Currently the program has clinical affiliations with eight local Nuclear Medicine departments and a radiopharmacy.  Affiliations also exist with the state-of-the-art Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Institute of Hampton Roads and The Children's Hospital of the Kings Daughters. New Affiliations are being created with the Sentara Lake Wright Comprehensive Cancer Center (Virginia Oncology Associates/Sentara Mobile PET/CT Imaging Facility). Old Dominion University NMED students have the opportunity to receive hands-on clinical and didactic education in molecular nuclear medicine imaging (PET Imaging).
  • Distance Education NMED 300-Medical Technology-is offered every other year via TELETECHNET and the course has been incorporated into three other programs.  The course has been broadcast throughout Virginia and three other states including Washington, Arizona and Georgia.  Average enrollments in this televised course is 100 students.
  • New Initiatives-Currently under development: The program is currently undergoing a  reaccreditation self-study. The program is expanding the didactic and clinical component devoted to positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT). The program is also currently seeking to expand the number of it's clinical affiliate sites to include an additional PET imaging facility.
  • Program Size-The program accepts 12 students per year.  Students take a variety of didactic, clinical, on and off-campus courses in nuclear medicine technology, radiation safety safety, nursing, radiopharmacy, bioethics, instrumentation, leadership and administration.
  • Research: Current projects include the construction of a Radioimmunoassay (RIA) section to the School of Medical Laboratory and Radiation Sciences Human Diagnostics Research Laboratory (HDRL). Collaborative research projects on the effects of exercise on  individuals with diabetes (conducted with faculty from the College of Education, Department of Exercise Science) are ongoing. 

Program Outcomes

Student Achievement & Program Indicators

  1. Graduate Success on the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB) .       The NMTCB is a national certification examination in nuclear medicine technology.                    First-time pass rates for the past 5 years (2010-2014) has been 90.4%
Year First Attempting/Passing  Pass Rate %
2014 8/8 100%
2013 9/12 75%
2012 11/12 92%
2011 7/7 100%
2010 11/12 92%

We are also proud to report that over the past two decades, 20% of graduates have passed the registry with distinction (17%)  or high distinction (3%).

  • Graduate Satisfaction with the ODU Program -                                                                          Graduates rate their overall readiness for entry-level posistions using a five point scale (1=Poor, 2=Below Average, 3=Average, 4=Very Good and 5=Excellent).  Graduates rate their academic preparation for employment in 11 different areas, and their overall preparation.

The average graduate rating for their overall academic preparation for the past four years is 4.78 out of 5.0.  Annual results of average graduate rating of Overall Preparation/Job Readiness appear below:      

2013:  4.75 out of 5.0
2012:  4.83 out of 5.0
2011:  4.75 out of 5.0
2010:  5.00 out of 5.0

  • Employers Ratings of ODU NMED Graduates -                                                                    Employers also rate ODU NMED Graduates on their readiness to perform the duties of an entry-level nuclear medicine technologist. Using a 1 to 5 scale ((1 = Poor, 2= Below Average, 3 = Average, 4 =Very Good, 5 = Excellent), employers have rated ODU NMED graduates an average of 4.89 out of 5.0 for the pastthree years.  Annual ratings appear below:

2013:  Survey ongoing
2012:  5.00 out of 5.0
2011:  5.00 out of 5.0
2010.  4.67 out of 5.0

  • Occupational Outlook/Employment Rates -                                                                                    Over the past two years, 2012-2013, about 70% of ODU graduates achieve employment in Nuclear Medicine Technology within six to twelve months of graduaton (50%FT, 50 PT).  Over the past 20 years, approximately 15% of Old Dominion NMED graduates - after working as staff technologists, and/or attending graduate school, have gone on to careers as chief or lead technologists, or moved into small field imaging research, health physics,  medicine, physician assistant, pharmacy, medical computing, applications or sales careers.  Several have gone on to become NMAA"s (Nuclear Medicine Advanced Associates).