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How do I Choose the Best Nuclear Medicine Program?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 05 August 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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There are five items to consider when choosing the best nuclear medicine program: education level, equipment, admissions requirements, accreditation, and faculty. Nuclear medicine programs are organized within a larger university, typically through the faculty of medicine. These programs provide the training required to use radioactive particles and specially designed equipment to take high-quality images of the patient, using non-invasive techniques. The development of nuclear medicine has substantially increased the quality of information available to physicians resulting in better diagnosis and improved patient outcomes.

There are two education levels available for nuclear medicine programs: undergraduate and graduate, both of which are completed at an accredited university. At the undergraduate level, the training provides the theoretical background necessary to become a nuclear medicine therapist. At the graduate level, the training is focused primarily on research, investigating new methodologies, and using technological developments to further enhance the quality of images available with a nuclear imaging machine.

The best nuclear medicine program should have a wide range of equipment available for student use. This includes patient mannequins and simulation programs. Check the average class size to ensure you will have ample opportunity to use this equipment. Look for specialized training options, such as job placement or cooperative programs. Only through a work placement program will you be able to see the actual equipment in use.

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In order to qualify for admission to nuclear medicine programs, you must have high school courses in biology and English. The best schools are usually located near a large hospital or diagnostic center. Although the availability of nuclear medicine is growing, look for universities that are affiliated with a major nuclear medicine facility or program. The equipment required is prohibitively expensive and is usually centered in a major city.

If you are looking at the best nuclear medicine program in the country or state, take note that the admissions standard is higher to reflect the increased demand. Review the requirements and reputation and evaluate for yourself if this is truly the best program for you. Think about your daily life, what will fit, and find the program that works for you.

When looking for a nuclear medicine program, always check the accreditation status of the school. An accredited school has been reviewed by an independent third party. Courses from an accredited school can be transferred to other post-secondary institutions. This is very important, as many people change careers and the ability to use credits earned in this program toward other health sciences related programs reduces the time and cost of career changes.

Most nuclear medicine programs provide the biographies of their faculty or instructors on their website. The information listed typically includes the academic credentials, work experience, special training, and any awards they have received. Talk with your admissions counselor about these instructors and explore the potential for assisting them with their research.

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