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Nuclear Medicine Technologist – Try it for 5

December 15, 2019


Hi. My name is Sonia.
And I’m Zoe. And we are nuclear medicine technologists.
At Royal Perth Hospital. All right. What I’ll get you to
do is to lie down again for me. Head on the pillow. Just bring
your body towards me a little bit. I really, really enjoyed
maths at school and really, really wanted to pursue
something with that but when I looked at those careers,
they were all things that involved not that much
person-to-person contact. I wasn’t keen on sitting at a computer
all day or doing calculations all day. I really wanted to work with people
and this is the ideal job for it. I could combine my love of maths which I
suppose not a lot of people have but, yeah, my love of maths with
this job which, yeah, I really enjoy and everything
else about it as well. Now, you’re having a heart scan. Have
you ever had one done before? No. No? OK. What this test
does is it looks at how your heart’s beating, how
it’s functioning. OK. Is this arm OK to
use for injections? Yeah, that’s fine. A small sting coming up, Sally. There we go. That’s
the worst part done. So I’m just going to make
up what we call ‘MAG-3’ which is a renal tracer so
it’s to image the kidneys. So for this particular kip
we need two gigabecks. It’s saying that we’ve got
7.57 gigabecks and if I refer to my little notes, we’ve got
about 5.7 ml in that vial so from there you’ve got to
calculate the volume you’ve got to draw up to get a
certain amount of activity. People automatically think
radiation, Chernobyl. By the time you get to actually working on
the job, it’s second nature. It’s always in the back of
your mind and you can’t be scared of it but you’ve got
to treat it with respect. After six hours, half of
what we’ve put into you – the radiation – half
of that will be gone so if you want to eliminate it
quickly from your body, the best thing you can do is have
lots of fluids to drink. So the more you drink, the faster
you’ll get rid of your radiation. OK. You just need to relax.
Breathe normally. Nice and still for me.
That one’s underway. This is the process data so this has
come in straight off the camera. It’s been summed into a whole lot of
projections and turned into that 3D picture. This is the heart in the
stressed state. They’ve got a little bit of
non-activity in that region. Our decisions, our diagnosis can
decide what management they have. They’re a little … one step
closer to a healthier life. This patient had a knee
replacement and now he’s having ongoing pain so
we’re assessing to see … it would be anything like, if
he’s got infection, if that would be the source of his pain,
if he’s got inflammation. That’s his left knee there and you can
see it’s not bright like the other knee because there’s no bone there because
that’s where they’ve replaced the bone. That area there is what we call quite hot
which means there’s a lot of counts, a lot of radiation being emitted
from there so that could be anything like infection or a
fracture or something like that. Time management and organisation
is imperative. It’s something you learn the
more experience you have. You get better at knowing, OK I think
this is going to take this long. I’d better move this patient on to this
camera and it’s definitely something that you improve with and it’s also something that by
watching the more experienced technologists, I find that’s a really good way of learning
sort of you know organisational tips and things but it’s just something you get used
to and it sort of becomes second nature. One of the hardest parts of our
job is probably when you’re doing a scan and you can see
the results before your eyes, even before the doctor’s report of the scan.
You can see that the prognosis isn’t good. When they ask you, ‘Oh, is
my scan OK?’ or ‘Did you see anything?’, we’re not allowed
to tell them anything and then if you have one that’s
quite calm about it, you can get out of it easily but you
do get the ones that won’t leave you alone and that can
get a bit awkward but once again, that’s something you
get used to with experience. I have this motto. Patients never
remember what you did. Patients never remember what you say but they’ll
always remember how you made them feel. If you make someone feel uncomfortable,
that’s it. See you later. They won’t come back to us.
They’ll tell all their friends that it
wasn’t a cool experience. They do come down and feel
like someone’s actually listening to them and someone
actually cares about their wellbeing, especially
when they tell you or tell a staff member that
you’ve done a good job. That’s a great feeling.

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