August 13, 2010
NUCLEAR MEDICINE TECHNOLOGIST LICENSURE
By: Nicole Dube, Associate Analyst
You asked for information regarding the licensure of nuclear medicine technologists.
Nuclear medicine technologists perform diagnostic imaging using specialized pharmaceuticals and equipment. Before a nuclear medicine scan, technologists administer radioactive drugs called “radiopharmaceuticals” to patients intravenously or orally. Specialized equipment detects the radioactive drug in the patient's body and creates an image used by physicians to help diagnose and treat medical conditions. Technologists prepare and operate the equipment, performing various types of scans such as bone, liver, lungs, thyroid, or kidney. They also administer radiopharmaceuticals prescribed to treat a medical condition.
Licensure requirements vary by state. Twenty-seven states, excluding Connecticut, license these technologists. Certification is available through the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists upon meeting certain education and experience requirements and passing a written examination.
Connecticut does not license nuclear medicine technologists. The state licenses radiographers and creates an exemption in the radiographer licensure statute for nuclear medicine technologists certified by the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, provided the individual is operating a bond densitometry system under a physician's supervision (CGS § 20-74ee).
According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, 27 states license nuclear medicine technologists: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
In September 2009, Rep. John Barrow (D-GA) introduced H.R. 3652, the “Consistency, Accuracy, Responsibility, and Excellence in Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy (CARE) Act of 2009. The bill requires, among other things, state licensure for all technologists who administer radiation, including radiographers, radiation therapists, and nuclear medicine technologists. The bill is currently under consideration in both the House Energy and Commerce and House Ways and Means Committees.
American Society of Radiologic Technologists, https://www.asrt.org/Content/GovernmentRelations/TallyofStateLicensure.aspx, website last visited on August 12, 2010.
H.R. 3652 “Consistency Accuracy, Responsibility, and Excellence in Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy (CARE) Act of 2009, http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.3652:, website last visited on August 12, 2010.
Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board, http://www.nmtcb.org/root/default.php, website last visited on August 12, 2010.