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Required training for Nuclear Pharmacy

There are certain precautions that must be taken into account when handling radiopharmaceutical materials on a daily basis. Nuclear pharmacists receive extensive training on the various radiopharmaceuticals that they use. They are trained in radiation safety and other aspects specific to the compounding and preparation of radioactive materials. Many things are required to become pharmacists, but to become a nuclear pharmacist one must go through the following training:

1. 200 hours of classroom training in basic radioisotope handling techniques specifically applicable to the use of unsealed sources is required. The training should consist of lectures and laboratory sessions in the following areas:

  • Radiation physics and instrumentation
  • Radiation protection
  • Mathematics of radioactivity
  • Radiation biology
  • Radiopharmaceutical chemistry

2. 500 hours in handling unsealed radioactive material under a qualified instructor is also required. This experience should cover the type and quantities of by-product material requested in the application and includes the following:

  • Ordering, receiving, surveying, and unpackaging radioactive materials safely.
  • Calibration of dose calibrators, scintillation detectors, and survey meters
  • Calculation, preparation, and calibration of patient doses including the proper use of syringe shield.

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