Nuclear Medicine Technology – B.S.
Nuclear medicine technology involves use of radioactive materials, called radiopharmaceuticals, to create images of organs, study body functions, analyze biological specimens and treat disease. Nuclear medicine technologists (NMTs) apply the art and skill of diagnostic imaging and therapeutics through the safe and effective use of radionuclides.
For organ-imaging procedures, radiopharmaceuticals are administered to patients intravenously, orally or by inhalation. The radioactive material concentrates in a specific organ or organ system. Instruments called scintillation cameras can detect the radiation emitted by the radiopharmaceutical concentrated in the organ. The camera produces a computer image of the organ. The images allow medical professionals to study the structure and measure the function of the organ, and to identify tumors, areas of infection or other disorders. The radiation dose is small, and the patient experiences little or no discomfort during the procedure.
NMTs play an integral role in the health-care team, working with patients, physicists, nuclear pharmacists, computer specialists, nurses, secretaries and other health-care professionals.
In this program, students study for three years at Millersville and then apply for admission to an accredited regional teaching hospital for one year of clinical training in nuclear medicine technology. Upon successful completion of the clinical phase of the program, students receive 30 transfer credits and are awarded a BS in Biology, Nuclear Medicine Technology Option. After completing the required work, students may sit for a national examination, which, if successfully completed, confers board certification in medical technology.
The health care professions offer individuals highly rewarding careers involved with saving lives and improving the quality of life for many other people. All the forecasts are that the demand for health care professionals will continue to increase and that the number of trained professionals will not keep pace with demand, e.g. the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a nationwide 46% increase nationwide and a 53% increase in Pennsylvania in the need for Respiratory Therapists between 1998 and 2008. Yet, Respiratory Therapy programs are unable to keep pace with that increase.
Millersville University has a long tradition of preparing students for careers involving health care. We offer a variety of programs in Allied Health (Medical Technology, Nuclear Medicine Technology, and Respiratory Therapy) as well as courses of study preparing students for professional school (allopathic medicine (MD), osteopathic medicine (DO), optometry, podiatry, dental, and veterinary medicine).
Our curricula in Allied Health are designed to be rigorous and challenging, to provide both depth of knowledge in a specialized area of biology in preparation for a career in health care as well a solid, broad background in the breadth of biology and the physical sciences. In a society that is increasing dependent upon technology it is very important that all biologists develop technological competency. We strive to help our allied health students develop the necessary computer, analytic, and contemporary experimental skills to be competitive in today's marketplace.
We recognize that health care professionals must be concerned with ethical and societal issues as well as more purely scientific considerations. Thus, our programs combine rigorous training in science with a strong background in the liberal arts. Our goal is to prepare our students to meet the career challenges of today’s world and to be ready for the unknown challenges of the future. Thus we strongly believe that the best training for the future is to become a lifelong learner. The Biology faculty at Millersville is a group of such learners who attempt to teach students how to become critical thinkers. We help our students learn to write and speak well and to become proficient in analyzing and solving problems as well as develop the technical expertise they need to become sources of knowledge and skill wanted by employers and society. We attempt to help our students develop their intellectual skills to their full potential.
The Allied Health Programs at Millersville normally follow a 3-plus-1 pattern: students spend three years on campus completing general education, math and science requirements, followed by clinical education in a hospital-based program. For MU students interning at local hospitals, University housing is available. The clinical programs provide classroom, laboratory and patient experiences under the supervision of medical instructors. All three programs are approved by the American Medical Association, and our graduates are eligible to sit for the appropriate national certification exam. The number of Millersville University graduates that pass these exams approaches 100 percent. Because of the high demand for supervisory personal in these fields the demand for trained persons with Bachelor’s degrees remains high. The BS degree also affords MU graduates many options for postgraduate study and thus many opportunities for career advancement. Some of our graduates have continued their health-oriented education in medical school and optometry school.
Success of our graduates:
Our graduates are extremely successful in a wide variety of areas in biology. Recent polls indicate that over 90% of those seeking employment in biology find it after graduation. Our graduates in the Allied Health Programs are in great demand by employers. For example, a graduating senior in the Respiratory Therapy Program typically receives 2-5 job offers. Recently many of these students also have been offered “signing bonuses” to agree to work for a specific health care provider. The opportunities for employment are great in the other Allied Health areas as well.