Faster than average growth (as much as a 27 percent increase) through 2014 will arise in this profession from an increase in the number of middle-aged and elderly persons, who are the primary users of diagnostic procedures.
Growth will also result from technological advancement and the development of new nuclear medicine treatments such as the use of radiopharmaceuticals in combination with monoclonal antibodies to detect cancer at far earlier stages than is customary today, without resorting to surgery.
Another is the use of radionuclides to examine the heart’s ability to pump blood. New nuclear medical imaging technologies, including positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), are expected to be used increasingly and to contribute further to employment growth. The wider use of nuclear medical imaging to observe metabolic and biochemical changes during neurology, cardiology and oncology procedures also will spur demand for Nuclear Medicine Technologists.
How do I know if this type of career is right for me?
Nuclear Medicine Technologists should be sensitive to patients’ physical and psychological needs. They must be able to pay attention to detail, follow instructions and work as part of a team. In addition, operating complicated equipment requires mechanical ability and manual dexterity. These professionals must also be willing and able to spend much of the day on their feet.