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Nuclear Medicine Technologist Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 22nd, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Careers     Sciences    
Question 1 of 30
What is the difference between PET and SPECT scans?
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How to Answer
As a Nuclear Medicine Technologist, you know that PET and SPECT scans are nuclear medicine imaging techniques which provide metabolic and functional information unlike CT and MRI. Tell the interviewer that the SPECT scan is a 3D scan that shows the distribution of radioactive tracer molecules and gamma-ray emissions that have been introduced into the patient’s body. Unlike a SPECT scan measuring gamma-rays a PET scan measures positrons.
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1.
What is the difference between PET and SPECT scans?
As a Nuclear Medicine Technologist, you know that PET and SPECT scans are nuclear medicine imaging techniques which provide metabolic and functional information unlike CT and MRI. Tell the interviewer that the SPECT scan is a 3D scan that shows the distribution of radioactive tracer molecules and gamma-ray emissions that have been introduced into the patient’s body. Unlike a SPECT scan measuring gamma-rays a PET scan measures positrons.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The main difference between SPECT and PET scans is the type of radiotracers used."
Heather's Answer #2
"SPECT scans use gamma-rays and PET scans use positrons."
2.
In your opinion, what are the 3 most important characteristics that a successful nuclear medicine technologist should have?
Which personal strengths or characteristics make you excellent at your job? Tell the interviewer about your skills or qualities that help you overcome difficult circumstances or accomplish challenging tasks.

Rachelle's Answer #1
" I think three important characteristics to have as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist are good communication skills, being collaborative with your co-workers and being loyal to your employer."
Heather's Answer #2
"Three characteristics that I have are my communication, analytical and listening skills."
3.
How do you extend compassion to a patient who is experiencing high levels of emotional stress?
As
Heather's Answer
"I extend my compassion by simply listening to the patient and answering all their questions."
4.
What is your experience preparing radiopharmaceuticals?
As a Nuclear Medicine Technologist, you know that radiopharmaceuticals are drugs that contain radionuclides that emit radiation. The distribution of the radiopharmaceutical within the body is determined by the physiochemical properties of the drug, the stability of the radiolabel, the purity of the radiopharmaceutical preparation, the pathophysiologic state of the patient, and the presence or absence of interfering drugs. If you are new to the field explain that you are looking forward from learning from your Sr. Technologists. If preparing radiopharmaceuticals has become second nature, tell the interviewer about your experience preparing and administering them to your patients.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"This will be my first job since graduating. I would verify that when ordered by the physician the procedure desired is annotated, the drugs to be used, the amounts to be administered, the route of administration, and, if applicable, the rate of infusion."
Heather's Answer #2
"I've been preparing radiopharmaceuticals for the last two years. I'm sure to prepare them according to the instructions of the manufacturer as well as the correct aseptic procedures."
5.
What makes you a great problem solver?
Employers want to know that you have a methodical approach to problem-solving. Consider the skills and qualities that help you successfully face problems in the lab. Perhaps you have a keen eye for detail. Maybe you can see opportunity when others can only focus on the face value of the issue. Share your strengths as a problem solver, and your ability to come up with innovative solutions as a laboratory assistant.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am a great problem solver because I do not allow stress to cloud my judgment and mute my creativity. I am a keen observer with a great memory which allows me to recall unique solutions or ideas."
Heather's Answer #2
"I believe I am a great problem solver because I am sure to gather as many facts as possible, through my detailed research. I look at the problem and its potential solutions from multiple angles."
6.
As a Nuclear Medicine Technologist many safety protocols need to be followed. How do you ensure compliance?
Compliance and safety are critical in every medical environment. Assure the interviewer that you are aware of the consequences if you do not follow safety protocols. Discuss any safety or policy-related training you may have.

Heather's Answer
"In my current role, I am tasked with training new technicians on our particular safety and compliance protocols. I am very confident in my abilities to comply and have never encountered a safety issue as a result of my error."
7.
Are you familiar with nuclear medicine procedures and guidelines? Where do you go to find/review these guidelines?
SNMMI is your bible as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. Tell the interviewer that you use The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) Practice Guidelines to answer any questions or need clarification on any guidelines.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am a member of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. They have guidance on their webpage as well as news and publications to reference."
Heather's Answer #2
"I always reference our training guides in the clinic as well as talk it through with our lead technologist to make sure I'm on the right path."
8.
Have you used a scintillation counter before?
Because of your training, you know that a scintillation counter is used to measure radiation in a variety of applications including hand-held radiation survey meters, personnel and environmental monitoring for radioactive contamination, medical imaging, radiometric assay, nuclear security and nuclear plant safety. Although you may not know more than what you learned about in school that's fine.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"A Scintillation Counter, measures radiation."
Heather's Answer #2
"Our lab has a Scintillation Counter in the form of a hand-held device. It measures radiation."
9.
How do you perform a Radioactive iodine uptake test?
As a Nuclear Medicine Technologist, you knwo that a Radioactive Iodine Update Test measures thyroid function and how much radioactive iodine is taken up by your thyroid gland in a certain time period. Explain to the interviewer how this test is performed.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I give the patient a small tablet that contains a tiny amount of radioactive iodine. I perform the first scan 4 to 6 hours after giving the iodine pill and another scan is usually done 24 hours later. My computer displays images of the thyroid gland."
Heather's Answer #2
"After giving the patient a radioactive iodine tablet I perform two scans over the next few days. Each scan takes approximately 30 minutes."
10.
What type of clinical settings have you worked in?
Clinical settings you may have experience with are in-patient, out-patient, ICU, ER, family practice, community clinics, other settings within hospitals. Tell the interviewer which setting you've worked in and how you've been successful in them. If this will be your first job out of school, tell the interviewer where you did your clinicals or what type of setting you've volunteered in.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My last year has been supporting an Intensive Care Unit. I've learned how to prioritize and work under pressure."
Heather's Answer #2
"Over my 10 year career, I've worked for a small clinic. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to work in a busier location and learn from other medical professionals that I will be supporting in the ER."
11.
Are you willing to relocate?
It's common for Medical Professionals to travel and cover between medical centers. Be clear during your interview if you are able to relocate or travel within a 30-mile radius. Answering this question stating you are not willing to relocate isn't necessarily a deal breaker. Be honest and see if you can negotiate with the interviewer.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am not able to relocate at this time. My son is graduating high school in a few months so it may be an option at that time."
Heather's Answer #2
"I'm not able to relocate but I am happy to work at various locations within a 30-mile radius."
12.
What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
Try to relate this to your day-to-day tasks while also providing a specific strategy for self-improvement. By clearly knowing your strengths and weaknesses, you can highlight your self-awareness and your commitment to improvement.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Early in my career, I realized that I sometimes take on too many projects because I'm afraid to say "
Heather's Answer #2
"One of my weaknesses is my ability to place an IV within a few seconds. Practice makes perfect and I'm working to make this one of my strengths."
13.
What questions do you have for us?
It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the company website and other online resources to ensure the questions you are asking are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of questions you could have found the answers to from simply watching a video on their company site!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have been a fan of your company's projects and research for as long as I can remember and I am curious what the vision is for introducing your research to new markets?"
Heather's Answer #2
"Why did the last person leave this position?"
14.
Describe your work ethic.
Are you organized, focused and disciplined? Do you use tools to stay on task and help you maintain a better work/life balance? A solid work ethic will demonstrate integrity and a strong sense of responsibility. Explain how you care about the quality of your work. What principals do you incorporate into your day in order to maximize your time and ensure good quality and care for your patients?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"When I arrive to work every day, I check patient charts and check in with the Nuclear Medicine Pharmacist and Physician to see what the status is on some of our long-term patients. I am consistent and thoughtful about the care I provide my patients. I am also very strict about details and maintaining patient records."
Heather's Answer #2
"I'm one to lead by example. The first to arrive and the last to leave. My team knows that I'm there for them as well as my patients know they will be greeted by a kind and knowledgable technologist."
15.
How do you measure radioactivity of your patient and colleagues?
Because different tissues and organs have varying sensitivity to radiation exposure, the actual radiation risk to different parts of the body from an x-ray procedure varies. Tell the interviewer that you exercise the International Atomic Energy Agency's radiation protection guidelines.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My colleagues and I wear a radiation dosimeter. We track the levels of radiation each time the patient comes in for treatment."
Heather's Answer #2
"Ongoing monitoring allows management of image quality, of radiation risk to patients and operators."
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30 Nuclear Medicine Technologist Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. What is the difference between PET and SPECT scans?
  2. In your opinion, what are the 3 most important characteristics that a successful nuclear medicine technologist should have?
  3. How do you extend compassion to a patient who is experiencing high levels of emotional stress?
  4. What is your experience preparing radiopharmaceuticals?
  5. What makes you a great problem solver?
  6. As a Nuclear Medicine Technologist many safety protocols need to be followed. How do you ensure compliance?
  7. Are you familiar with nuclear medicine procedures and guidelines? Where do you go to find/review these guidelines?
  8. Have you used a scintillation counter before?
  9. How do you perform a Radioactive iodine uptake test?
  10. What type of clinical settings have you worked in?
  11. Are you willing to relocate?
  12. What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
  13. What questions do you have for us?
  14. Describe your work ethic.
  15. How do you measure radioactivity of your patient and colleagues?
  16. Have you organized work schedules?
  17. Describe your experience performing IV placement and/or venipuncture.
  18. When are you available to start?
  19. Are you actively interviewing with other companies?
  20. Tell me something about yourself that I won't read on your resume.
  21. Why are you looking for a new position?
  22. How do you handle a stressful situation?
  23. HO
  24. Describe your working relationships with your colleagues.
  25. How do you earn the trust of your co-workers?
  26. What do you know about our health care facility?
  27. What types of communication situations cause you difficulty? Give an example.
  28. What are your salary expectations?
  29. Do you prefer to work independently or part of a team?
  30. Being a nuclear medicine technologist requires great attention to detail. Would you consider yourself a detail-oriented person?
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