Considering A Career In Nuclear Pharmacy
Nuclear pharmacy is the branch of nuclear medicine which is primarily concerned with the preparation of radioactive materials for conducting diagnostic tests as well as for treatment of certain diseases. It incorporates dispensing as well as compounding of radioactive material for use during nuclear medicine procedures.
A nuclear pharmacist also called a radiopharmacist, specializes in preparation, dispensing and distribution of radioactive drugs or radiopharmaceuticals. Such professionals form an integral part of nuclear medicine team and offer consultation on areas of health as well as safety issues.
In general, the nuclear pharmacist has to perform a number of tasks. He/she is responsible for controlling the inventory of radiopharmaceuticals as well as other associated supplies. Moreover, the individual also prepares radioactive drugs, fills prescription orders, and checks the instruments and equipment for the purpose of quality assurance. Besides this, the person also holds the responsibility for proper handling of biological specimens and harmful radioactive substances. Apart from these, the pharmacist also needs to ensure that a patient receives appropriate preparation before a radiopharmaceutical material is administered to him/her. The radiopharmacists also play an active part in educating nuclear medical residents or/and nuclear medicine technologists.
For starting a career in the field of nuclear pharmacy, one needs to undergo training in radioisotope handling techniques. The training covers a number of areas like radiopharmaceutical chemistry, mathematics of radioactivity, instrumentation and radiation physics, radiation protection and radiation biology. Moreover, an individual also requires nuclear medicine training.
Generally, such professionals are employed by nuclear pharmacies, hospitals, private and government research institutes, academia as well as industry.