Nuclear Medicine utilizes radiopharmaceuticals, scintillation cameras, and computers to image and quantify physiologic processes throughout the body. The nuclear medicine technologist administers radiopharmaceuticals to patients, positions them for images and operates the cameras and computers to produce the images, and analyze the data. The images and data that technologists obtain provide physicians with information on physiology and metabolic function of specific organs and systems. In both hospital and clinical settings, nuclear medicine technologists perform general, cardiac, and PET/CT procedures on adult and pediatric patients.
Radiation Therapy directs radiation at diseased tissue in strictly controlled circumstances to cure or palliate the disease. The radiation therapist is in daily contact with cancer patients, positioning them for treatment, performing mathematical calculations of radiation dosage, and operating a variety of equipment that produces ionizing radiation. Therapists may also specialize in the area of treatment planning, which includes design and construction of various treatment devices and computerized dose computations. The radiation therapist has considerable responsibility in the area of patient care and must be skilled in dealing with terminally ill patients and their families.
Radiography is the profession in which diagnostic medical images are made in the areas of diagnostic radiography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, mammography, and cardiac or vascular interventional technology. Radiographers exercise initiative and judgment in obtaining the images necessary for adequate physician interpretation. As with the other radiation science professions, the patient’s confidence must be obtained while translating a “high tech” process into a humane experience.
Sonography is the profession which uses equipment that generates high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the human body. The sonographer acquires images and data for the interpreting physician to diagnose disease and pathology in patients. This profession includes abdominal and small parts sonography, echocardiography, obstetrical and gynecologic sonography, and vascular technology. In each area, the sonographer must be knowledgeable of expected pathology, application instrumentation, and exam results.
The OUHSC sonography program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs in Abdominal Extended, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Adult Cardiac, and Vascular sonography, and requires each student to obtain competencies in all these specialty areas. Students who graduate from this program are eligible to take the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography credentialing exams associated with each of these specialty areas 60 days prior to graduation.
Radiation Sciences is an online nonclinical post-professional program that allows students to advance their degree while maintaining their current employment status. These students already hold a credential in nuclear medicine, radiography, radiation therapy, or sonography.