Nuclear Medicine Technology Certificate

College of Health Sciences

Department Chair Elaine Halesey, EdD, RT (R)(QM)

Program Director Cindy Turchin, MBA, RT (R)(N), CNMT

The certificate in Nuclear Medicine Technology is a 21 month, 50 credit program divided into 6 part-time sessions, billed at a discounted part-time credit rate. All didactic courses are offered in a combination of weekend and on-line formats with clinic experiences on weekdays, as noted in the curriculum sequence.

The population from which students will enter this certificate program can best be described in one of five possible categories.

1. No prior college credit or professional certification/no pre-requisites: These students would have to take all pre and co-requisites in addition to the Nuclear Medicine credits.

2. Registered Radiologic Technologists from hospital-based programs: students may be awarded up to 9 credits of the required pre- and/or co-requisites under the Prior Learning Assessment policy (similar to what Medical Imaging does for these individuals wishing to pursue a B.S. in Medical Imaging). These credits would include: MI 106 (1cr.); NMT 115 (Pt. Care- 2 cr.), MI 214 (2cr.); and BIO 121 (4cr.). All other pre-and co-requisites would be required for the certification, in addition to the Nuclear Medicine courses.

3. Registered Radiologic Technologists possessing an A.A.S. degree in Radiologic Technology- would have their credits assessed for transfer against the pre- and co-requisite requirements.

4. B.S. in Medical Imaging- would have their credits assessed for transfer against the pre- and co-requisite requirements; however, these students would probably meet most (with the possible exception of Chemistry). If B.S. Medical Imaging (MI) degree is from MU, only pre-req course needed would be Chemistry. B.S. from another school- assessment by registrar required. B.S.- not in MI- assessment by registrar.

5. B.S. Medical Imaging at Misericordia/Certificate in Nuclear Medicine- combined track. This is another option within the current Medical Imaging major; similar to Sonography (DMS). Upon graduation from Medical Imaging after 8 semesters (less for transfer students), students, who would have begun the Nuclear Medicine courses during their senior year, would continue seamlessly in the Nuclear Medicine program; completing the program in May of the 5th year.

There are 19 credits of pre-requisite courses that must be completed prior to beginning the certificate program. All courses must be completed with a minimum grade of "C". All may be completed at Misericordia in any format if available; Expressway, on-line, evenings, weekends, etc.

Pre-requisites currently offered at MU # Credits

MTH 095 (College Algebra) or higher level such as MTH 120 3

PHY 117 – Physics Introduction I* 4

BIO 121 - Human Structure & Function I* 4

BIO 122 - Human Structure & Function II* 4

(BIO 211/212 are equivalent courses for 121/122)

CHM 104 General Chemistry* 4

or

CHM 133 Chemical Principles I 4

The Nuclear Medicine Certificate Program is seeking initial accreditation by the Joint Review Committee on Education Program in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT) with a site visit scheduled for Fall, 2011. The JRCNMT is the only programmatic accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to accredit nuclear medicine technologist educational programs in the territorial United States.

What is Nuclear Medicine?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Diagnostic imaging embraces several procedures that aid in diagnosing ailments, the most familiar imaging being the x ray. In nuclear medicine, radionuclides—unstable atoms that emit radiation spontaneously—are used to diagnose and treat disease. Radionuclides are purified and compounded to form radiopharmaceuticals. Nuclear medicine technologists administer radiopharmaceuticals to patients and then monitor the characteristics and functions of tissues or organs in which the drugs localize. Abnormal areas show higher-than-expected or lower-than-expected concentrations of radioactivity. Nuclear medicine differs from other diagnostic imaging technologies because it determines the presence of disease on the basis of metabolic changes, rather than changes in organ structure".

The certificate program offered by Misericordia University provides students with the education and training required to practice as a nuclear medicine technologist. Education/training includes:

Nuclear medicine operations and regulations

Patient care and procedure preparation

Preparation and administration of Radiopharmaceuticals

Performance of imaging procedures

Performance of therapeutic procedures

Quality control

Program Objectives:

Upon completion of the program students will:

Apply learned principles of Nuclear Medicine imaging, radiation protection, nuclear pharmacy and patient care.

Function effectively as a member of the health care team, exercising discretion and good judgment in the performance of their responsibilities.

Be eligible to sit for the national certification examination in Nuclear Medicine.

Demonstrate personal and professional attitudes and standards that will allow them to become assets to the health care industry and the community.

Demonstrate evidence of professional development and/or continuing education.

This option prepares highly specialized nuclear medicine professionals to provide images, data analysis, and patient information to the nuclear medicine physician for diagnostic interpretation. Technologists will learn the preparation and administration of radioactive chemical compounds and to perform patient imaging procedures using specialized radiation-detection equipment. The Nuclear Medicine option consists of a 50-credit program of study including six clinical experiences encompassing 1232 hours of clinical experience with approved expert clinical supervisors. The program is designed to prepare students to function as a nuclear medicine technologist in both hospital and out-patient settings.

Admission, Retention, and Program Completion Requirements

Admission to Nuclear Medicine:

To be considered for admission to the Nuclear Medicine Technology (NMT) program, applicants must

  1. possess the pre-requisites completed at the university or post-secondary level noted above with a minimum grade of "C" if taken off campus, or "C-" if taken at Misericordia.
  2. possess an overall GPA of 2.75 in college-level courses.
  3. complete the standard university admissions process/requirements inclusive of letters of recommendation no later than February 1st. Submit to the admissions department. Late applications will be considered on a space-available basis.
  4. interview with the program director.

Students will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Retention/Probation: Cumulative GPA of 2.30 at the end of each Session, (I-VI) with a minimum grade of C- in all NMT coded courses. Students will be placed on program probation at the end of the first semester in which their cumulative GPA drops below 2.30. The student must raise the GPA to the minimum 2.30 by the end of the next consecutive semester in order to be retained. During this time, the student will be placed on program probation. Students may be placed on program probation only one time.

The student will be placed on immediate probation if a recorded violation of the code of ethics occurs at any time. The code of ethics can be found in the program clinical education manual and student handbook.

The student will be removed from program probation when:

  1. The stipulated cumulative grade point average is achieved, providing it is by the completion of the following semester.
  2. The terms of probation are met.

Students can be placed on program probation only one time.

Additional Retention Requirements:

  1. Submission of CPR certification to the clinical coordinator prior to the start of clinic and re-certification prior to expiration as long as the student is enrolled in a clinical experience. The student is responsible for attending to expiration dates.
  2. Submission of the health clearance form to the clinical coordinator which confirms the student's ability to successfully fulfill all program requirements. This is required yearly.
  3. Yearly submission of results of criminal record checks to the clinical coordinator.
  4. Documentation of HIPAA education prior to Clinic I.
  5. Submission of all other requirements for clinical placement as identified by the program.

Note: A.–C. above must be kept current throughout the program.

Program Completion: Students will be considered to have successfully completed the program if all required pre- and co-requisites, as well as required courses in the certificate program have been successfully completed; the overall minimum GPA of 2.30 has been met; all financial obligations to the program and/or university have been met.

Dismissal: Dismissal of the student from the Nuclear Medicine Technology (NMT) certificate program will result if any one of the following occurs:

  1. The student commits a "serious" infraction of the code of ethics, or violates a program policy that states program dismissal (see individual program policies). If a student is dismissed and files a grievance, they must follow the university policy on the grievance process. During this time, the student cannot attend NMT classes.
  2. The student fails to meet the terms of retention/probation.
  3. The student does not earn a grade of C- or above in all NMT course (any course with an NMT code).
  4. The student violates the requirements for clinical placement, including failure of the required drug screening.

Re-admission:

Once a student is dismissed from the NMT program, he or she may apply for re-admission for the following year, unless the reason for the dismissal was an ethical violation. (Students dismissed for ethical violations will not be re-admitted). Re-admission cannot occur earlier than one calendar year due to the sequential nature of the curriculum. The student must submit a written request for re-admission to the program director no later than the end of the semester following the semester in which the student was dismissed. The request will be considered providing the following criteria are met: an achieved overall GPA 2.75 (the same as for transfer students); successful completion of all criteria that were the reason(s) for the initial dismissal; and the provision that clinical space is available. Although re-admission is not guaranteed, if re-admitted, minimum GPA requirements apply and the student cannot be placed on program probation during their re-admission.

In addition, students who wish to be considered for re-admission must first grade-replace all NMT courses in which a grade of "C-" or above was not earned. Previous performance in both clinical and didactic courses will also be considered. Notification of re-acceptance will be in writing from the program director by July 1 for the fall semester, January 1 for the spring semester, or May 25 for the summer semester; depending upon what semester this student is re-entering.

Depending upon the reason for the original dismissal as well as the length of time until the student re-enters, students may be required to audit specific program courses previously completed as a stipulation for re-admission. These courses can only be taken as audit and cannot earn credits if successfully taken previously. The requirements for re-admission will be communicated to the student in writing for consideration of acceptance of the re-admission offer. Failure by the student to agree to the conditions for re-admission will result in the offer being revoked. In addition, all re-admitted students must successfully repeat all previously completed clinical competencies on a pass/fail basis only. If re-admission is granted, minimum GPA requirements, as stated above, apply.

The medical imaging department (Nuclear Medicine program) reserves the right to make changes in these policies as the need arises.

Clinical Placement/Experience

To be eligible for clinical placement, a student must have completed all pre-requisite courses that apply toward the major and meet the minimum stated overall GPA for program retention. Once a student is selected for placement in a clinical education center, the complete set of the policies and procedures as published in the program relating to the clinic is expected to be read thoroughly by each student and will be reviewed by clinical faculty prior to the start of the clinical experience. Placements are determined by the clinical coordinator and program director as determined by the total number of placements approved by our accrediting body. Students may have to travel out of the immediate area to one of the sites listed below.

Transportation to and from the assigned clinical education setting is the responsibility of the student. The NMT program is currently affiliated with the following clinical education sites:

Advanced Imaging Specialist, Dunmore, PA

Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI), Forty Fort, PA

Greater Hazleton Health Alliance, Hazleton, PA

Regional Hospital of Scranton, PA

Tyler Memorial Hospital, Tunkhannock, PA

Prime Med: A Professional Corporation, Scranton, PA

Vision Imaging, Kingston, PA

Wyoming Valley Health Care Systems (WVHCS), Wilkes-Barre, PA

Additional clinical sites may be secured based on the student's residence, and at the student's request.

Health Examination

Before students can begin the clinical experience, they must submit a health clearance form report each year they are enrolled in a clinical experience. A complete list of required exams and immunizations will be provided to all Nuclear Medicine students prior to their first clinical rotation; including drug screening.

The health clearance form must be submitted to the nuclear medicine clinical coordinator by the student and as one complete packet no later than the date specified in correspondence by the program director. Normal results are good for one year from the date of test.

Special Expenses

In addition to tuition and fees*, expenses for the Nuclear Medicine Program may include CPR certification and re-certification, health examination fees, inclusive of drug-screening; immunization fees, malpractice liability insurance, and uniforms.

*A fee will be charged to the student's bill for the first fall semester to cover the costs for a name tag, student handbook/clinical education manual, radiation badges, liability insurance and clinical education forms. A fee will be charged to the student's bill for the second fall semester for radiation badges, liability insurance and clinical education forms. This fee is non-refundable if the student does not complete the program.

Additional expense incurred, such as fee for criminal background checks or national certification examination, are paid directly by the student to the respective agency.

The Nuclear Medicine Technology program reserves the right to make changes in these policies as the need arises.

Course Sequence

Session I (Fall semester I)

Total Credits 10

MI 106

Medical Terminology

1

NMT 100

Clinical Experience I

(16 hrs. per week-Monday/Wednesday)

2

NMT 110

General Diagnostic & Therapeutic Nuclear Medicine Procedures (weekend college)

3

NMT 115

Patient Care in Nuclear Medicine (on-line)

2

NMT 120

Introduction to Nuclear Medicine Operations & Administration (on-line)

2

Session II (Spring semester I)

Total Credits 12

MI 214

Radiation Biology & Protection

2

MI 290

Cross-Sectional Anatomy (WEC)

2

NMT 105

Clinical Experience II

(16 hrs. per week- Tuesday/Thursday)

2

NMT 230

Radiation Physics, Safety & Regulations for NMT Professionals

3

Co-requisite

ENG 103: Composition

3

Session III (Summer I)

Total Credits 5

NMT 200

Clinical Experience III

(16 hrs. per week x 7 weeks: Tuesday/Thursday)

1

NMT 210

Nuclear Medicine Instrumentation & Quality Control

3

NMT 215

Medical Ethics & Law for Imaging Professionals

1

Session IV (Summer II)

Total Credits 4

NMT 205

Clinical Experience IV

(16 hours per week x 7 weeks: Tuesday/Thursday)

1

NMT 220

Medical Informatics

1

NMT 310

Radionuclide Chemistry, Radiopharmacy & Pharmacology

2

Session V (Fall Semester II)

Total Credits 10

NMT 225

PET/CT Imaging Procedures

1

NMT 300

Clinical Experience V

(16 hours per week: Tuesday/Thursday)

2

NMT 315

Nuclear Medicine Case Review

1

Co-requisite

MTH 115: Basic Statistics

3

Co-requisite

PSY 123: Intro to Psychology

3

Session VI (Spring Semester II)

Total Credits 9

NMT 305

Clinical Experience VI

(24 hours per week: M, W, F)

3

NMT 320

Nuclear Medicine Registry Review

0

Co-requisite

PHL 100C: Intro to Philosophy

3

Co-requisite

PSY 232: Research Methods

3

Program total credits 50

Note: MTH 115 and PSY 123 are pre-requisites for PSY 232

Electronic communication among faculty, staff and students occurs frequently throughout the program as well as online evaluation methods required within individual courses. Some courses will be delivered on-line. Students are required to possess basic computer skills and frequent access to a computer.

See Nuclear Medical Technology Course Descriptions.