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Medical, technological advances prompt updating of nuclear medicine technologists' scope of practice
Date:9/7/2007

e updated scope of practice appears in the September Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology, published by SNM, the worlds largest society for nuclear medicine and molecular imaging professionals.

Our scope of practice is a generic description of the practice of nuclear medicine technology and includes information about the profession and its current and future status, explained Cindi Luckett-Gilbert, chair of the SNMTS special task force to revise the scope of practice. It includes parameters to define the profession, such as federal and state regulations, institutional regulations and professional standards, she added. The biggest change to the scope of practice was to include performing CT scans and administering contrast, said Luckett-Gilbert. Since many of the state-of-the-art nuclear medicine camerasas well as the positron emission tomography (PET) scannershave CT scanners attached to them, performing CT scans becomes one of the nuclear medicine technologists tasks, added the supervisor of PET/CT imaging for Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, N.C.

There are more than 21,000 certified nuclear medicine technologists in this country, and the field is expected to continue to grow. These technologists are highly specialized health care professionals and are employed in hospitals, universities, medical clinics and research centers across the United States and abroad. They are specially trained to operate the sophisticated systems and computers used for diagnosis in nuclear medicine and coordinate with other members of a health care team, including doctors, patients, physicists, nuclear pharmacists, computer specialists and nurses.

The SNMTS scope of practice, updated from a 2001 version, is not intended to modify or alter existing tort law; rather, it should serve as a concise outline of nuclear medicine technologist skills and responsibilities, said Gilmore All tasks within the scope are subject to federal, state and institutional
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Contact: Maryann Verrillo
mverrillo@snm.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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