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Nuclear Medicine is a medical imaging specialty which
utilizes the use of radio pharmaceuticals to image the physical processes of disease. Nuclear Medicine gained recognition during the middle of the 1940s and became
well known during the 1950s.
Nuclear Medicine allows radiopharmaceuticals to be taken internally; via intravenously or orally, radiation is then captured by gamma cameras forming the images. This is unlike x-rays where external radiation passes through the body to form the image.
During the 1980s , single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) came about for the diagnosis of heart disease. The most recent development will be positron emission tomography (PET) and fusion imaging with PET and CT. PET/CT is now an intergral part of oncology for diagnosis, staging and treatment monitoring. An MRI/PET scanner is also being developed.
Nuclear medicine technologists are part of the heatlh care team and need to work closely with physicians and other professionals in medical imaging. Nuclear medicine technologists with additional skills in radiography are desirable candidates for employment.