Nuclear medicine is an interdisciplinary field that combines chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics and computer technology to uniquely provide information about both the structure and function of virtually every major organ system within the body. It is this ability to characterize and quantify physiologic function which separates nuclear medicine from other imaging modalities. With the development of new radiopharmaceuticals, treatments and the exciting technology of PET/MRI, PET/CT and SPECT/CT hybrid imaging, the nuclear medicine field has grown significantly over the past years and is expected to grow even more in the future.
Daily tasks of a nuclear medicine technologist include: Prepare and administer radioactive chemical compounds known as radiopharmaceuticals; perform patient imaging procedures using sophisticated radiation-detecting instrumentation; perform computer processing and image enhancement functions; provide images, data analysis and patient information to the physician for diagnostic interpretation; prepare patients for imaging procedures and radioactive therapy; apply knowledge of radiation physics and safety regulations to radiation safety; and utilize quality control techniques as part of the quality assurance program.
North Central College’s degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology prepares students for a career as a nuclear medicine technologist through a 3+1 program with NM School of Nuclear Medicine Technology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Students spend three years at North Central College, where they complete their liberal arts general education core along with prerequisite science and math courses. This is followed by a 13-month program of study (34 credits) at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The student then graduates from North Central College with a degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology.
Admission to the final year of the program is based upon successful application to the NM School of Nuclear Medicine Technology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in January of junior year. Student applicants are considered and evaluated solely by the faculty/staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Student admission to the program is not guaranteed.
Students intending to major in Nuclear Medicine Technology must meet with the Pre-Professional Health Program Coordinator or the Chemistry Department Chair for the most recent information. Prerequisite courses and other requirements are subject to change.
For more programs and courses in this department, see Chemistry and Physics.