Find out what a nuclear pharmacy technician does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a nuclear pharmacy technician.
What Does a Nuclear Pharmacy Technician Do?
Nuclear pharmacy technicians are responsible for preparing and dispensing radioactive drugs and other pharmaceuticals. They may also be tasked with monitoring patients who receive these treatments to ensure they’re safe and effective.
Nuclear pharmacy technicians must have a strong understanding of chemistry and physics to properly prepare these medications. They must also be able to work independently consistently—nuclear pharmacy technicians often work alone in nuclear pharmacies, where there is little oversight from supervisors or other staff members.
Nuclear Pharmacy Technician Job Duties
Nuclear pharmacy technicians have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include the following:
- Performing radiation monitoring tasks such as calibrating equipment used to measure radiation exposure levels or monitoring nuclear medicine devices for signs of wear or damage
- Preparing radioactive materials used in imaging procedures such as computed tomography scans (CT scans), positron emission tomography scans (PET scans), and gamma knife radiosurgery
- Performing other duties as assigned by the nuclear pharmacist, such as maintaining inventory records of radioactive materials used in treatments
Nuclear Pharmacy Technician Salary & Outlook
Nuclear pharmacy technicians’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size, and geographic location.
Median Annual Salary: $64,132 ($30.83/hour)
Top 10% Annual Salary: $111,000 ($53.37/hour)
The employment of nuclear pharmacy technicians is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.
The need to ensure the quality and safety of pharmaceuticals will continue to drive demand for nuclear pharmacy technicians. In addition, the use of atomic technology in other fields, such as medical imaging, is expected to increase the demand for atomic pharmacy technicians.
Nuclear Pharmacy Technician Job Requirements
A nuclear pharmacy technician typically needs to have the following qualifications:
Education: Most nuclear pharmacy technicians hold associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in atomic pharmacy technology. These programs are offered at community colleges and technical schools. Courses in this program include nuclear pharmacy technology, nuclear pharmacy law, nuclear pharmacy business, and atomic pharmacy ethics.
Training & Experience: Nuclear pharmacy technicians receive most of their training through educational programs. Some employers may require candidates to complete a training program before they begin working. These programs may last a few weeks and teach the nuclear pharmacy technician about the company’s procedures and guidelines.
Certifications & Licenses: Nuclear pharmacy technicians are expected to be competent in using radiation detection devices and understand the basics of radiation safety and therapy. Some facilities may require nuclear pharmacy technicians to be certified in radiation therapy and radiation therapy devices.
Nuclear Pharmacy Technician Skills
Nuclear pharmacy technicians need the following skills to be successful:
Attention to detail: Attention to detail is a necessary skill for a nuclear pharmacy technician because it ensures the accuracy of your work. This is important because the medications you prepare could be used to save a patient’s life. When working with drugs, it’s important to follow the proper procedures to ensure the safety of the patient and the quality of the medication.
Communication skills: Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must be able to communicate with patients and other medical professionals. Pharmacists often instruct pharmacy technicians on how to fill prescriptions and explain the side effects of medications. Pharmacy technicians must also be able to communicate with patients about their medical conditions and the medications they are taking.
Computer proficiency: A nuclear pharmacy technician should have strong computer skills, especially when it comes to using software programs. They should be able to use computers to enter patient information, track inventory, and complete other tasks.
Medical knowledge: Medical knowledge is the ability to understand the functions of the human body and how to treat illnesses and injuries. Medical knowledge is an important skill for nuclear pharmacy technicians because they may be responsible for preparing medications that affect the body’s functions. Medical knowledge can also help them understand the side effects of medications and how to treat them.
Organizational skills: A nuclear pharmacy technician needs to be able to organize their work space and the supplies they have on hand. This is important because they need to keep track of the medications they have and the medications they need to order. They also need to keep track of the medications they have dispensed and the medications they have returned.