About the Profession
Rapid technological innovations place imaging sciences at the leading edge of diagnostic medicine. The Nuclear Medicine Advanced Associate (NMAA) works with physicians to help meet the growing demand for advanced imaging practitioners as new procedures are developed and as the range and utilization of imaging procedures expand.
Professional competencies are based on the existing scopes of practice (NMAA Scope of Practice), knowledge, and clinical skills expected of other middle-level providers. NMAAs are required to demonstrate clinical leadership skills, including the ability to function with a high level of autonomy, technical sophistication, advanced levels of clinical knowledge, and strong critical thinking and decision-making skills. They are highly capable, competent, and motivated professionals, grounded in the sciences, practicing with increased clinical responsibilities, and educated at the master’s degree level.
The Nuclear Medicine Advanced Associate is an NMTCB- or ARRT-certified nuclear medicine technologist who has successfully completed a master’s degree program encompassing a nationally recognized NMAA curriculum and a nuclear medicine physician- or radiologist-directed clinical preceptorship.
Under physician supervision, the NMAA performs patient assessment, patient management, and selected nuclear medicine procedures as summarized below.
- Perform and document a comprehensive review of clinical information, such as pertinent lab work (to include blood, urine and other tissue samples/ pathology studies) as well as correlative imaging studies, which will facilitate optimal interpretation by the supervising physician.
- Obtain a complete clinical history from patient or medical record and perform or update a ‘history and physical’ where indicated.
- Assist the supervising physician in obtaining informed consent for invasive and therapeutic procedures, as well as procedures involving more than minimal risk, as allowable by state law and institutional policy
- Order and administer agents that facilitate and/or enable diagnostic imaging.
- Perform minimal sedation (anxiolysis) and moderate sedation (as defined by the American Association of Anesthesiology) under the direct supervision of an appropriately credentialed physician as determined by state law and institutional policy.
- Perform pre- and post-procedure assessment and monitoring in patients undergoing invasive and therapeutic procedures, as well as procedures involving more than minimal risk, as allowable by state law and institutional policy.
- Monitor and supervise cardiac exercise or pharmacologic stress testing in association with diagnostic nuclear medicine imaging procedures.
- Under the direction of the supervising physician, perform invasive or therapeutic procedures as recognized through institutional policy and allowable by state and federal law.
- Educate the patient on pre-procedural preparation and post- procedural care in patients undergoing invasive and therapeutic procedures, and procedures involving more than minimal risk, and document in the medical record, as allowable by state law and institutional policy.
- Assess imaging procedure for quality, recommend additional views as necessary, and order diagnostic procedures as necessary to provide additional information to optimize the nuclear medicine procedure.
- Analyze the imaging, correlative and laboratory data provided and prepare a preliminary description of findings for the supervising physician to use when interpreting the results and formulating the written report.
- Communicate report findings found in finalized and authenticated reports to the referring physician, providing necessary documentation, i.e. critical results and critical tests reporting.
A detailed list of professional competencies may be found on this link.
NMAAs will actively participate in practice-based improvement activities as well as facility quality assurance programs. They will be competent in overseeing compliance with all local, state, regional, and federal requirements for laboratory operations and accreditation and provide education for technologists, students, and staff. They will be expected to participate in maintenance of certification (MOC) activities and be credentialed by the institution in which they practice.