Mission, Goals & Quality - Nuclear Medicine Technology

Mission

The University of Iowa Nuclear Medicine Technology Program is dedicated to providing an environment of opportunity and scholarship that will allow our students to successfully learn and develop into the well-rounded Nuclear Medicine Technologists of tomorrow.

Goals

The NMT program has two major goals.  The first is to adequately prepare the student to be able to competently perform the duties of an "entry-level" nuclear medicine technologist.  The second major goal is to prepare the student to pass one or both of national certification exams needed to work in the field in most states.

The JRCNMT’s "Accreditation Standards for Nuclear Medicine Technologist Education" specify that a graduate of an accredited nuclear medicine technologist program must be able to competently perform in the following major areas of practice:

A. Professionalism

  1. Practice in accordance with ethical standards, legal statues and published standards of practice.
  2. Demonstrate professionalism befitting a health care provider.
  3. Collaborate as a member of an interprofessional team.
  4. Display respect for diversity.
  5. Apply critical thinking, problem solving and decision making strategies.
  6. Evaluate published research studies and apply appropriate principles to improve evidence-base practice.

B. Patient Care

  1. Practice universal precautions.
  2. Practice aseptic technique.
  3. Assess patient status and vital signs.
  4. Establish, verify and maintain vascular access.
  5. Provide appropriate patient comfort, monitoring, and care before, during and after procedures.
  6. Recognize and respond appropriately to unexpected and emergency situations.

C. Radiation Safety

  1. Maintain compliance with institutional radioactive materials license under supervision of an authorized user or radiation safety officer.
  2. Maintain compliance with local, state and federal safety regulations.
  3. Practice ALARA principles thereby limiting the radiation exposure of the patient, public, fellow workers and self.
  4. Perform and document radiation surveys and when necessary, take appropriate action.
  5. Respond appropriately to a radioactive spill.
  6. Perform decontamination procedures in accordance with the radiation safety program.
  7. Participate in appropriate in-service programs to educate other personnel regarding radiation and principles of radiation protection.
  8. Prepare to participate in the management of radiation disasters.

D. Instrumentation and Quality Control

  1. Identify the function and application of the following instruments:
    • Dose calibrators
    • GM survey meters
    • NaI(Tl) counting and uptake systems
    • Imaging systems including:
    • Planar
    • SPECT
    • PET
    • CT component of hybrid imaging systems
    • Image fusion using hybrid imaging systems
  2. Perform the appropriate quality control for the instruments listed in D1.
  3. Document performance and results of all quality control testing according to quality control program procedures.
  4. Take appropriate corrective action(s) in response to QC results.
  5. View, process and archive acquired data on picture archival communicating systems (PACS).
  6. Utilize radiology and hospital information systems, managing patient information in these systems according to facility policies, state and federal statutes and accreditation standards.

E. Radiopharmaceuticals and Pharmaceuticals

  1. Procure appropriate radiopharmaceuticals for the day’s schedule in accordance with license possession limits.
  2. Store radiopharmaceuticals consistent with established safeguards and institutional radiation safety guidelines.
  3. Follow Department of Transportation (DOT) and institutional radiation safety guidelines in the transport, receipt and shipment of radioactive materials.
  4. Prepare and label applicable radiopharmaceuticals in accordance with institutional protocols.
  5. Apply radioactive decay calculations as appropriate to determine required volume and activity.
  6. Verify physician order, procedure, time, patient, radiopharmaceutical or adjunctive pharmaceutical, dosage, and route for administration.
  7. Apply weight and age-based calculations as appropriate to verify the prescribed dosage of radiopharmaceuticals or pharmaceuticals.
  8. Dispense and administer radiopharmaceuticals and/or adjunctive pharmaceuticals under the direction of an authorized user.
  9. Document radiopharmaceutical and/or adjunctive pharmaceutical administration in accordance with institutional policies.
  10. Follow institutional protocols for blood withdrawal and radioactive labeling.
  11. Evaluate patients for contraindications, precautions, physiological response and side effects of radiopharmaceuticals and adjunctive pharmaceuticals.

F. Diagnostic Procedures

  1. Identify indications for performing imaging and physiologic quantitation.
  2. Identify the chemical and brand names of the radiopharmaceutical(s) for a specific procedure.
  3. Identify the acceptable dosage ranges for the radiopharmaceutical(s).
  4. Identify the appropriate route of administration for the radiopharmaceutical(s).
  5. Explain the appropriate methods to administer the radiopharmaceutical(s).
  6. Describe the normal bio-distribution of the radiopharmaceutical including route of excretion and organ receiving the highest radiation dose (i.e., the “critical organ”).
  7. Schedule a procedure, keeping in mind appropriate sequence when multiple procedures have been ordered.
  8. Review and evaluate patient medical history in preparation for the nuclear medicine procedure.
  9. Verify the written order for the procedure and evaluate procedure appropriateness.
  10. Verify the patient’s identity prior to radiopharmaceutical or adjunctive pharmaceutical administration.
  11. Identify any contraindications including pregnancy and/or lactation status, prior to the procedure.
  12. Verify patient’s physiological preparation (e.g., NPO status).
  13. Explain the impact of patient preparation on the procedure, imaging and quantitative data.
  14. Explain the procedure, patient involvement, length of study and radiation safety to the patient and family.
  15. Verify informed consent when appropriate.
  16. Select and organize the supplies necessary to perform the procedure.
  17. Select appropriate instrument and acquisition parameters for the procedure.
  18. Administer the radiopharmaceutical and/or adjunctive pharmaceutical in accordance with institutional guidelines.
  19. Document the radiopharmaceutical and/or adjunctive pharmaceutical in accordance with institutional guidelines.
  20. Position the patient appropriately for the procedure.
  21. Assist the healthcare provider in nuclear cardiac stress testing performed in conjunction with nuclear medicine procedures.
  22. Acquire appropriate imaging view(s) and/or non-imaging data for complete procedure.
  23. Annotate and/or process imaging or non-imaging data for physician interpretation.
  24. Review acquired images and processed data critically in order to assure diagnostic quality.
  25. Analyze normal and abnormal bio-distribution of the radiopharmaceutical in nuclear medicine images and correlate with physiology and/or pathology.
  26. Recognize image or patient artifacts and take appropriate action.

G. Radionuclide Therapy

  1. Assist an authorized user with the therapy procedure including preparation, documentation, patient care and radiation safety.
  2. Identify any contraindications to the therapy including pregnancy and/or lactation status, prior to the procedure.
  3. Verify the patient’s physiological preparation.
  4. Verify completion of informed consent, written directive, radiation safety instructions, and patient and family education.
  5. Verify and document patient identity, radiopharmaceutical, route of administration and dosage for the therapy.
  6. Assist the authorized user in room preparation, instructing hospital staff, patient and/or caregivers in appropriate patient care and radiation safety precautions.
  7. Practice prescribed radiation safety procedures during the preparation and the administration of therapeutic agent.
  8. Conduct and document radiation surveys of designated patient areas and/or the patient, when indicated.
  9. Assure appropriate post-therapy monitoring, documentation and follow-up is performed.

ARRT Certification Rates

Year Program 1st Attempt Passing Rate National 1st Attempt Passing Rate Program Mean Scaled Score National Mean Scaled Score
2016 100% 90.0% 83.8 83.9
2015 100% 87.50% 90.2 83.6
2014 100% 87.60% 85.60 83.10
2013 100% 94.0% 86 84.1
2012 100% 91.4% 86 84

NMTCB Certification Rates

Year Program 1st Attempt Passing Rate National 1st Attempt Passing Rate Program Mean Scaled Score National Mean Scaled Score
2016 75% 88.9% 77.0 77.4
2015 100% 86.8% 80.25 77.9
2014 100% 89.59% 80.25 78.19
2013 100% 88.2% 79.5 78.3
2012 100% 91.3% 79.8 78.25

Program On-Time Completion rate Information 

Graduating Year # of Students Starting Program # of Students Graduating on Time Completion Percentage
2016 4 4 100%
2015 4 4 100%
2014 8 8 100%
2013 6 6 100%
2012 5 5 100%

Program Placement Rate

Graduating Year # Employed in Nuclear Medicine within 6 Months # Pursuing Additional Education Immediately after Graduation Placement Rate
2016 4 0 100%
2015 4 0 100%
2014 8 0 100%
2013 2 1 40%
2012 3 1 75%

 

Graduate outcomes are indicators of program effectiveness, demonstrating the extent to which a program achieves its goals.  Programmatic graduate outcomes data reported on the JRCNMT website include: 5-year time period of current report; graduation rate; ARRT credentialing success; NMTCB credentialing success and job placement rate.  Graduate Outcomes Report

Additional information on University of Iowa performance metrics such as loan default rates, median borrowing, etc. are available at http://financialaid.uiowa.edu/receivingfunds/notification/performancemetrics and http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=university+of+iowa&s=all&id=153658