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.
Student Achievement & Program Performance
- Graduate Success on NMTCB - a national certification examination in nuclear medicine technology.
For the past 5 years the first-time pass rate for ODU graduates on the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board National Examination has been 96.3% - with a 100% pass rate on subsequent attempts. NMTCB first-time pass rates for the past five years:
Year Students Attempting/Passing Percent Pass Rate 2007 12/12 100% 2008 11/12 91.7% 2009 11/11 100% 2010 11/12 91.7% 2011 7/7 100%
We are also proud to report that over the past two decades, 23% of ODU NMED graduates have passed the exam with "distinction" or "high distinction".
- Graduate Satisfaction with the ODU Program - Using a five point scale (1 = Poor, 2= Below Average, 3 = Average, 4 =Very Good, 5 = Excellent) the average graduate rating for their overall academic preparation for the past five years is: 4.89 out of 5.0
- Employers Ratings of ODU NMED Graduates - Employers also rate ODU NMED Graduates on their readiness to perform the duties of a 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 4.81 out of 5.0 for the past five years.
- Occupational Outlook/Employment Rates - Over the past three years , about 80% of ODU graduates achieve employment in Nuclear Medicine Technology or a related field withinsix months of graduation (35% FT. 65% PT). Over the past 25 years, 15% Seventeenpercent of Old Dominion NMED graduates - after working as staff technologists, and/or attending graduate school, have gone on to careers as Chief orLead technologists, or moved into small field imaging research, Health Physics, Medicine, Physician Assistant, Pharmacy, Medical Computing, or Sales careers.