The first NMAA exam was administered in June of this year at the SNM Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. Four candidates sat for (and passed) the exam after completing an MIS (Master of Imaging Science) from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Collaborating with UAMS in this advanced degree program are Georgia Health Sciences University, University of Missouri at Columbia, and Saint Louis University. This is the second MIS track to be offered from UAMS, the first being the better known, but still new, Radiology Assistant (RA) program.
NMAA candidates must first be graduates of an accredited Nuclear Medicine Technology program, and hold a Nuclear Medicine Technologist certification.
In addition to regular technologist duties, NMAAs could be responsible for:
- ordering and administering testing agents
- administering sedation (under supervision of a physician)
- assessing and monitoring patients, monitor exercise and pharmaceutical stress testing procedures
- performing therapeutic procedures (under supervision of a physician)
- assessing patient images
- requesting further imaging and/or ordering additional diagnostic procedures to compliment nuclear medicine findings
- preparing preliminary reports and readings on tests
- communicating report findings to ordering physician
The NMAA program at UAMS is designed as a distance learning program, which makes it accessible to technologists all over the country. Online courses are combined with clinical assignments at local facilities, often times the technologists current place of employment. The program consists of 5 semesters, and is flexible enough that it can be carried out over of a course of up to five years. This means, not only can you study online, you can carryout your clinical practices without leaving your current job. It’s a lot of work, but UAMS and it’s collaborates have designed a program that can help a candidate succeed, by eliminating many of the burdens of advanced studies.
There are three start dates available per year, and the GRE is also required for admission. Two letters of reference (preferably one academic and one professional) are required, a letter of intent, and the candidate must be ACLS certified and have worked in clinical field for at least 2 years post-certification. Additionally, the candidate is responsible for filing paperwork for the clinical site they have chosen to act as an affiliate, and there must also be a nuclear medicine physician or radiologist who agrees to work as the candidate’s preceptor during clinical assignment.
More information on the NMAA can be found at the links below: