Nuclear medicine is the application of radioactive materials to the diagnosis and management of disease in humans. It is primarily a diagnostic specialty and one of the most challenging and exciting branches of medicine.
Radioactive atoms are chemically identical to stable atoms of the same element and can be introduced into the basic chemical structure of many compounds. The radiation that is emitted from the radioactive atoms in the compound permits the detection and measurement of the compound within the human body. This provides a means of investigating normal and abnormal functions of specific chemical and physiological processes within a human being while those processes are going on. Virtually all physiological processes within the body are now measurable and can be "seen" using radioactive compounds and sophisticated instrumentation. Nuclear technology is also employed to assay the extremely small concentrations of certain substances in blood serum and other patient samples.
Nuclear medicine is responsible for a host of revolutionary, safe, non-invasive diagnostic procedures that are now available to physicians in many branches of medicine.
BCIT is currently reviewing the Nuclear Medicine Technology program design, content, and entrance requirements, which may be subject to change.
Designed to prepare graduates to function as technologists in nuclear medicine departments, the program is a combination of lecture and lab instruction at BCIT and clinical experience in the nuclear medicine departments of clinical facilities currently affiliated with the program.
The student spends Levels 1 and 2 of the first year at BCIT for lectures and labs in basic subjects applicable to nuclear medicine technology and patient care. BCIT is equipped with a lab containing facilities and equipment commonly used in nuclear medicine departments. The student spends the summer term of the first year in the nuclear medicine department of a hospital.
In second year, the student spends alternate two-week periods at BCIT and the nuclear medicine department of several Vancouver-area hospitals. The student spends summer term of second year in a nuclear medicine department to gain further clinical experience.
Note: During the summer terms only, BCIT may assign students to any of the accredited hospitals, some away from the Greater Vancouver area.
On successful completion of the two-year (six-term) program, the student receives the BCIT Diploma of Technology in Nuclear Medicine and is eligible to write national certification examinations.
Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.
A nuclear medicine technologist performs the diagnostic procedures of nuclear medicine. Certified graduates work primarily in the nuclear medicine departments of hospitals. In addition to performing a wide variety of tests on patients; the technologist may also perform lab tests on patient samples; prepare radiopharmaceuticals for injection into patients; record test results; receive; handle, record, store and measure radioactive materials; and perform quality control procedures on a wide variety of instrumentation and imaging devices.
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