UPTAKE: A Dialogue with Future Leaders

March 25, 2024

A reflection by: Jacquelyn Brogley, CNMT

On a bright and crisp Fall morning this past year, I had the pleasure of meeting with the nuclear medicine class of 2026 at Gateway Community College (GWCC, Phoenix AZ), my alma mater. This energetic bunch led by Julie Bolin MS, CNMT, FSNNMI-TS, shared with me their journey of how they came into the program, explained what the new BS program entailed, and enjoyed asking many questions as part of our engaging dialogue.

Out of the 23 students, about half of the group had some form of medical background, while others had surprisingly discovered nuclear medicine “by accident” and fell in love with the fascinating aspects of radioactive materials and diagnostic imaging. I shared with them my own personal journey as well, and how indebted I was to be established and working in this career field just as they were starting theirs.

After introductions, I was pleased to learn about the new GWCC Bachelor of Science program, which offers dual-imaging certifications, thus allowing each student to sit not only for their nuclear medicine boards but for CT boards as well. As a seasoned technologist graduate, I was eager to hear about the opportunity to go back and begin the pathway program for CT certification. It was moving to recognize how GWCC was looking to give back to graduates and offer them greater opportunities for higher education and future growth in this ever-evolving field. It is my hope that more of our dedicated nuclear medicine programs across the country begin to gear toward dual-imaging certifications, since this is part of the future of nuclear medicine imaging. As we nuclear technologists all know, PET/CT, SPECT/CT, and PET/MR are established modalities, so it is simply time to push for advances in continuing education so more single-modality techs such as myself can become dual-certified.

Once we covered a brief synopsis of classwork, I explained my background in article writing/editing while working full-time. I encouraged them to get involved with the SNMMI and other organizations, while networking at local meetings and events. I explained that for me, these opportunities began as a student and have lasted well into a life-long career, and to never be afraid to take chances. After a rather fun Q&A about my good and bad work experiences, I parted ways with the students, giving them each a small notebook and pen to use while in clinicals.

I left that day refreshed and renewed in my personal belief that we are all connected through our love of nuclear medicine, and that sharing our words of wisdom with those who are following in our footsteps is key to the growth and preservation of our field. It is my hope that fellow techs who read this are inspired to do the same and talk to students or get more involved with this amazing career field we all have come to cherish and appreciate!

My cohort visiting the PCI Radiopharmacy, Tempe, AZ