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Nuclear Medicine Technology

Description of the Profession

Nuclear Medicine Technology is the medical specialty concerned with the use of small amounts of radioactive material (radiopharmaceuticals) for diagnostic, therapeutic, and research purposes. Nuclear medicine technologists typically administer various radiopharmaceuticals to patients according to established protocols, and then operate sophisticated imaging cameras to obtain diagnostic images for radiologist interpretation. Nuclear medicine technologists must be knowledgeable in radiation safety, radiopharmacy, instrumentation, patient care, patient imaging, and regulatory compliance. The professional organization for nuclear medicine is the Society of Nuclear Medicine.

The Old Dominion University Program in Nuclear Medicine Technology

Description: The Nuclear Medicine Technology (NMED) program is a nationally accredited program that offers undergraduates an opportunity to earn a Bachelors of Science degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology. The ODU NMED program has graduated nearly 150 students since it's inception in 1987. The program leads to a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Medicine Technology (BSNMT). The Program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT) and can accept 12 students annually. The NMED program includes a variety of on and off-campus courses, over 1300 hours of clinical experiences, as well as one distance class - offered through TELETECHNET.

Mission: The NMED program supports the stated mission of the College of Health Sciences by preparing competent, qualified nuclear medicine technology professionals with practice, management, research and teaching skills to address the changing health needs of the region, state and nation. Further, the NMED program provides leadership in healthcare by offering excellent educational experiences in a quality learning environment to facilitate the development of competent, caring health professionals.

Admission

Admission to the program is a separate process after admission to the University.

The program is currently accredited for 12 students. Admission to the program is selective.

Only a limited number of students are granted an interview each year, depending upon the total number of qualified applicants. The first cut of any group of applicants is determined via grade point average(GPA).

Once a group of qualified applicants (typically 18-20) has been identified, the admissions process continues as indicated below.

Selection of students is based upon several criteria:

  1. Grade Point Average (GPA) - overall, all institutions.
  2. Grade Point Average (GPA) in Math and Science: (Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry, Physics, Algebra, and Statistics)
  3. Grade Point Average (GPA) in ODU course work
  4. Nuclear Medicine Technology (NMED) courses grades: (Fundamental Concepts and Medical Terminology) at time of application.
  5. Three letters of reference
  6. An Interview with the Admissions Committee

The Technicals standards for admission into the program in nuclear medicine technology may be found here.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Students must first apply and be accepted at Old Dominion University.
  2. Students should contact the College of Health Sciences Advising Office 683-5137 and meet with a pre-health advisor to indicate their interest in applying to the NMED Program.
  3. Once all University requirements and program prerequisites have been completed, students typically begin their third or, Junior year.
  4. In the third year, students take NMED 300 and NMED 331.
  5. An application packet is distributed during the Fall semester in the NMED 331 class. Students are responsible for obtaining all application materials and submitting a completed packet .
  6. A completed application packet(as described below)must be received by the program director by October 15th each Fall semester.
  7. A completed packet will contain the following items:
    • Completed Application Forms.
    • Three letters of reference.
    • Transcripts from all Colleges and Universities attended.
  8. The top 18-20 applicants are granted an interview with the Admissions Committee, which typically occurs the first week of November in the Fall Semester.
  9. Based on current accreditation guidelines, twelve (12) students may be accepted.
  10. Students are notified of their admission status within one week of the Interviews.

For information and forms concerning application to the University contact the:
Office of Admissions
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529-0050
(757) 683-3685
The university application is also available on-line.

For information and instructions on obtaining financial aid contact the:
Office of Student Financial Aid
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529-0050
(757) 683-3683
Information and instructions are also available on-line

Technical Standards for Admission

2012-2013

Nuclear medicine technology involves the provision of direct care for individuals and is characterized by the application of verified knowledge and skillful performance in the medical imaging domain. Therefore, in order to be considered for admission to the program, all applicants should:

  1. Possess sufficient skills in order to communicate with individuals promptly and effectively through speaking, reading and writing.

  2. Possess sufficient skills in order to accurately prepare and administer radiopharmaceuticals.

  3. Possess sufficient skills in order to observe, assess, and care for patients.

  4. Possess sufficient skills in order to respond promptly and implement the manipulation ofequipment, and the positioning and lifting of patients as required to meet the healthcare needs related to nuclear medicine technology.

  5. Possess sufficient skills in order to perceive verbal communication from patients and others inthe health care system and to assess the health needs of individuals through the use ofmonitoring devices such as cardiac monitors, stethoscopes, intravenous infusionpumps, etc.

Contact the program director if you need further information regarding the technical standards of the NMED program.

Curriculum

First Year Fall
ENGL 110C Written Comm. 3
MATH 102M College Algebra 3
CHEM 105N/106N Chemistry 4
History* 3
Total Credits 13
First Year Spring
ENGL 211C Written Comm 3
STAT 103M Statistics 3
CHEM 107N/108N Chemistry 4
Human Creativity* 3
Elective 1
Total Credits 14
Second Year Fall
PHYS 101N Elementary Physics 4
BIOL 250 Anatomy & Physiology 4
COMM 101R Public Speaking 3
Information Literacy* 3
Total Credits 14
Second Year Spring
PHYS 102N Elementary Physics 4
BIOL 251 Anatomy & Physiology 4
Literature* 3
Human Behavior* 3
Total Credits 14
Third Year Fall
NMED 300 Medical Terminology 3
NMED 331 Concepts in NMT 4
PHIL 345E Bioethis 3
HIST 304T History of Medicine*
3
Total Credits 13
Third Year Spring
NMED 332 Instrumentation 4
NMED 335 Radiation Health 3
NMED 401 NMT I 4
NURS 393 Clinical Skills 2
Total Credits 13
Fourth Year Summer
NMED 440 Clinical NMT I 8
Total Credits 8
Fourth Year Fall
NMED 450 Clinica NMT II 8
NMED 402 NMT II 4
NMED 403 Radiopharmacy 3
Total Credits 15
Fourth Year Spring

NMED 460 Clinical

NMT III

8
NMED 410 Non-Imaging NMT 3
NMED 475 W Adm/Mgt in NMT 3
Total Credits 14

General Education, Upper Division & Program/Prerequisites= 63

Nuclear Medicine Technology Coursework=57

120

Program Outcomes

Student Achievement & Program Indicators

Graduate Success on the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB).

The NMTCB is a national certification examination in nuclear medicine technology. First-time pass rates for the past 5 years (2010-2014) has been 90.4%

Year First Attempting/Passing Pass Rate %
2014 8/8 100%
2013 9/12 75%
2012 11/12 92%
2011 7/7 100%
2010 11/12 92%

We are also proud to report that over the past two decades, 20% of graduates have passed the registry with distinction (17%) or high distinction (3%).

  • Graduate Satisfaction with the ODU Program - Graduates rate their overall readiness for entry-level posistions using a five point scale (1=Poor, 2=Below Average, 3=Average, 4=Very Good and 5=Excellent). Graduates rate their academic preparation for employment in 11 different areas, and their overall preparation.

The average graduate rating for their overall academic preparation for the past four years is 4.78 out of 5.0. Annual results of average graduate rating of Overall Preparation/Job Readiness appear below:

2013 4.75 out of 5.0
2012 4.83 out of 5.0
2011 4.75 out of 5.0
2010 5.00 out of 5.0
  • Employers Ratings of ODU NMED Graduates - Employers also rate ODU NMED Graduates on their readiness to perform the duties of an entry-level nuclear medicine technologist. Using a 1 to 5 scale ((1 = Poor, 2= Below Average, 3 = Average, 4 =Very Good, 5 = Excellent), employers have rated ODU NMED graduates an average of 4.89 out of 5.0 for the pastthree years. Annual ratings appear below:
2013 Survey ongoing
2012
5.00 out of 5.0
2011 5.00 out of 5.0
2010 4.67 out of 5.0
  • Occupational Outlook/Employment Rates - Over the past two years, 2012-2013, about 70% of ODU graduates achieve employment in Nuclear Medicine Technology within six to twelve months of graduaton (50%FT, 50 PT). Over the past 20 years, approximately 15% of Old Dominion NMED graduates - after working as staff technologists, and/or attending graduate school, have gone on to careers as chief or lead technologists, or moved into small field imaging research, health physics, medicine, physician assistant, pharmacy, medical computing, applications or sales careers. Several have gone on to become NMAA"s (Nuclear Medicine Advanced Associates).

Clinical Sites

  • Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center
    150 Kingsley Lane
    Norfolk, Virginia 23505
    Affiliate Medical Director: Jonathan C. White, M.D.
    Student Clinical Rotation Images: photo, photo
  • Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center
    3636 High Street
    Portsmouth, Virginia 23707
    Affiliate Medical Director: Susan McKenzie, M.D.
    Student Clinical Rotation Images: Photo , photo
  • Cardinal Health Radiopharmacy
    230 Clearfield Avenue, Suite 125
    Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462
    Radiopharmacist: Matthew Champ, B.S. RPh.
  • Chesapeake General Hospital
    736 Battlefield Blvd. N.
    Chesapeake, Virginia 23320
    Affiliate Medical Director: John E. Daughdrille, M.D.
    Student Clinical Rotation Images: Photo , photo , photo
  • Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters
    601 Children's Lane
    Norfolk, Virginia 23507
    Affiliate Medical Director: David Kushner, M.D.
  • Positron Institute of Hampton Roads
    Norfolk, Virginia
    Affiliate Medical Director: Lester Johnson, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Riverside Regional Medical Center
    500 J. Clyde Morris Blvd.
    Newport News, Virginia 23601
    Affiliate Medical Director: Jonathan H. Demeo, M.D.
    Student Clinical Rotation Images: photo , photo
  • Sentara Careplex Hospital
    3000 Coliseum Drive
    Hampton, Virginia 23666
    Affiliate Medical Director: William Ritchie, M.D.
    Student Clinical Rotation Images: photo , photo
  • Sentara Leigh Hospital
    830 Kempsville Road
    Norfolk, Virginia 23502
    Affiliate Medical Director: Dr. Lester Johnson, M.D., Ph.D.
    Student Clinical Rotation Images: photo , photo
  • Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
    600 Gresham Road
    Norfolk, Virginia 23507
    Affiliate Medical Director: Dr. Lester Johnson, M.D., Ph.D.
    Student Clinical Rotation Images: photo , photo
  • Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital
    1060 First Colonial Road
    Virginia Beach, Virginia 23454
    Affiliate Medical Director: Jonathan C. White, M.D.
    Student Clinical Rotation Images: photo , photo

Course Web Pages

Course web pages for Nuclear Medicine Technology are found on Blackboard.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many students are accepted each year into the Nuclear Medicine Technology Program at Old Dominion University?
    Twelve (12).
  • What kind of GPA should I have to apply to the NMED program?
    The minimum GPA is 2.0, however the average entering GPA over the past decade has been about a 3.0.
  • When is the deadline for applying to the program?
    Students are typically enrolled in NMED 300 and NMED 331 during the fall semester of their junior year. Students submit an application packet by October 15th to be considered for admission into the program.
  • What information/forms are to be included in the packet submitted by the student seeking admission?
    By October 15th of their junior year, those students who wish to apply for admissions must submit a complete packet which contains:

  1. Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  2. Three letters of reference. (form provided by ODU, sealed in an envelope, signed.)
  3. Application Forms.

  • What other requirements are there for admission into the program?
    Depending upon the number of applicants, a “first cut” may occur via GPA to determine which students are granted an interview. Typically 18-20 applicants who have submitted a complete packet are scheduled for an interview, which generally occurs the first week of November during the Fall semester. Applicants are also encouraged to observe an operating nuclear medicine department before applying to the program.
  • What things are asked of applicants during the interview?
    An admissions committee composed of nuclear medicine professionals from the Hampton Roads area are free to ask any relevant question of the applicants. The questions are intended to ascertain whether the applicant knows what nuclear medicine technology is, what a nuclear medicine technologist does, and understands how the program is set up.
  • Where can I observe a nuclear medicine department, who sets up the observation, and how long should I observe?
    Students set up their own observation dates, and can observe in any nuclear medicine department they wish. Most of the hospitals and clinic sites in Hampton Roads are accustomed to having students call and set up observation times, so you may wish to observe locally. Spend at least 2 hours observing, but ask to stay as long as the site can accommodate you and as long as it takes you to gain a basic understanding of what nuclear medicine technology is.
  • Should I volunteer in a nuclear medicine department?
    No. It is not necessary.
  • What if I am not one of the 12 applicants selected during this admissions process?
    We suggest that all applicants have alternative plans in case they are not accepted into the program. All students are typically enrolled in NMED 331, and must complete the semester, which ends in December.
    You can try again next year, apply to a different program, etc.
  • How exactly are the 12 students selected?
    Selection is based upon a series of criteria obtained from the applicants transcripts, references and interview. Specifically an applicant's GPA is broken down and ranked in several categories: Overall GPA, Math GPA, Chemistry/Biology GPA, and Physics GPA. Student references are also ranked according to a 5 point scale and interview ranking are obtained.
  • I am transferring to ODU from a community college/another institution. What should I do?
    Contact either the College's pre-health Advisor - she or one of her staff can assist you in getting prepared to apply to the NMED program:

College Advisor
William B. Spong, Jr. Hall
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0288
Phone: (757) 683-5137
Email: hsadvising@odu.edu