Nuclear Medicine Technologists

You, like many healthcare professionals, may be challenged to find work in your profession when you first arrive in Canada.  The healthcare job market is very competitive and you must hold a valid license to practise in a regulated profession before you can work. The application process to assess your credentials, work experience and language proficiency can be expensive and lengthy.  It is especially so if you require additional language training or academic upgrading.  Consider a related career or “career option”.

If you decide that your skills do not align with your primary career of choice, the Health Career Options Guide provides information about career alternatives.

These career options may allow you to find meaningful employment in Canada.

*Note: Healthcare professions are not static.  They evolve as new technology, research findings and care models affect the delivery of healthcare.  The scope of practice of each professional is subject to change.  Changes may demand further education, certification and possible licensure for assistive levels.  Users of this guide should know that the qualifications listed for some of these career options may change.

Who are Nuclear Medicine Technologists and what do they do?

Nuclear Medicine Technologists (NMTs) are one of four disciplines within the profession of medical radiation technology in Canada. They are skilled members of a healthcare team who prepare and administer radiopharmaceuticals to patients, and operate radiation detection equipment to generate data for use in diagnosis of disease while at all times applying radiation protection measures. They care for and educate the patient about procedures and any post procedural care.  The nuclear medicine technologist also operates the PET/CT scanner and therefore has the knowledge and skill to operate a CT unit.

What are the minimum or “entry to practice” requirements for this profession in Canada?

Candidates must first complete an accredited diploma or undergraduate degree in a health sciences degree in radiological technology, which includes supervised clinical placements. All graduates must write the national certification examination established by the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT). Note that Quebec has its own certification procedure.

The profession is not regulated in every province at this time, but most employers require their employees to have certification from CAMRT. In regulated provinces, candidates must be registered with the provincial regulator before they can work in that province.

Continuing education is an important part of the profession to maintain professional competency. Some complete further education at the post graduate level, as well.

Can I work if I was trained outside of Canada?

As an internationally trained professional, you will be assessed for your competency against Canadian standards. Details of this process can be found on the CAMRT site. In general, you must provide credentials of your education and work experience, and these must be translated into either French or English. You must also prove English or French language proficiency if your training was completed in another language. If and when you meet these requirements, you will be eligible to write the national certification examination. There are fees for these assessments and exam, and the process may take a number of months to be completed. Not all who attempt the exam are successful. See the data table. Academic upgrading and/or language training courses are available but these may be expensive, have a wait list with limited placements and take a long time to complete.

Can I plan for my professional life in Canada before I arrive?

Before you decide to come, view the Self Assessment Readiness Tool™ for Nuclear Medicine Technologist to compare your knowledge and skills against those required to work in this field. The tool offers case scenarios, examples of daily practice, a self check against the national competencies and information about the registration process. The Job Search in Canada- 10 Steps Tool describes the skills and processes you will need to find a job. It describes language assessment, resume writing, interview skills, and the role of volunteering and finding a mentor. The tools are found at Assess Health Careers Canada.

Settlement agencies in Canada provide many services for newcomers.  These include both pre-arrival and post arrival information about language assessment and classes, career preparation, job search and other general information.  Click here to find a settlement agency in the area where you plan to settle.

What should I do if I can’t find work in my field?  Do I have options?

Yes, you have many options. The job market fluctuates for many professions so the demand for trained specialists is never constant. Many Canadians, who were trained for one career, may work in a number of related fields before they retire. For example, a physician may write healthcare policy, a nurse may work as a private healthcare consultant or an occupational therapist may translate health related documents as a fulltime career. They transfer their skills and experiences from one career to another. A career option, or an “alternative career”, allows you to focus your skills, abilities and work experiences in a different direction. Ideally, you will choose a new career with fewer restrictions such as one that does not require a license, certification or extensive retraining.

If your skills and abilities do not match the Canadian standards, consider one of the following career options. You can work in this new field temporarily while you upgrade your education or language skills, or longer if the work is satisfying to you. These options were identified through consultation with regulators, the professional association, and/or educators and profession experts. They recognize many of the skills and abilities you already have.

 

Consider one or more of these options. Click on each link for career option fact sheet information. References and links.

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