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Director of Nuclear Medicine

Head up a hospital's radioactive imaging and treatment department.

What does a Director of Nuclear Medicine do?

Tiny bits of nuclear materials can help Doctors find diseased cells and stop them before they spread. Large bits of nuclear materials, however, can cause widespread disease and death. Because of that, hospitals must walk a fine line between helping and harming people with nuclear medicine.

A Director of Nuclear Medicine is instrumental in helping a hospital meet this goal. The Director of Nuclear Medicine accomplishes that by setting the nuclear policies for the hospital and making sure those policies are followed.

When you’re the Director of Nuclear Medicine, you’re expected to know the best way to diagnose and cure disease with radioactive materials. This means you spend a large amount of time reading journals and attending conferences, learning all you can about how your colleagues are treating their patients with those materials.

At times, you may find that the way your hospital is using radioactive materials isn’t ideal. Perhaps a test should be given with a slightly smaller dose of the materials, for example, or perhaps the methods you use to store those materials aren’t quite up to snuff. When this happens, you write up new procedures for staff to follow, and you hold classes to teach them about the new rules.

Nuclear materials produce clear photos, but only if they’re used properly. Periodically, you review the images your nuclear medicine department produces, and you make sure they’re sharp and clear. If they’re not, you talk with the Nuclear Medicine Technician to make sure they don’t make the same mistake again.