REAL LIFE NUCLEAR MEDICINE TECHNOLOGIST
I get access to all the newest technology. Everything we do here is top-notch -- nothing is secondhand. Whether it will cost us more money to provide a certain service is not the top consideration -- what the patient needs is always the priority.
My daily activities consist of preparing the radioactive materials that we give to our patients and getting the camera and computer systems up-to-date. Patients start arriving around 7:30 a.m. They receive injections of the material for their tests and then return later for testing. The imaging of a patient takes a half-hour to an hour. Once finished, I move on to computer processing, computer analysis and showing results to physicians. This job requires a lot of computer and database work, storage of patient information, processing protocols and quality control work. Any time you are looking at the anatomy of patients, quality control is needed to ensure that everything is accurate. With radioactive material, everything that gets injected into a patient has to be properly evaluated so we know exactly how much we have, what it is and the route of administration. All of our equipment has to meet high standards, so it's checked every day.
I have patient and physician interaction and also interaction with data. There's a good mix. You are not doing the same thing all day. You get to work on a computer, perform spreadsheet analysis and go into the pharmacy to prepare the materials that you are going to use. You are involved in every step along the way. The real strength of Nuclear Medicine at Mayo is teamwork between the tehnologists, the physicians, and the rest of our department.
I have looked at other institutions and the one thing that really stands out at Mayo is the ability to quickly fix something when it goes wrong. You are not stuck on an island by yourself -- there is always someone there to help.