The job of a nuclear pharmacist is like any other pharmacist but with different specializations and expertise. Nuclear pharmacy is a specialized practice area in pharmacy that involves compounding and dispensing radiopharmaceuticals to be used in various nuclear medicine procedures. A nuclear pharmacist specializes in radio pharmaceuticals concerning medication and drugs given to patients undergoing chemotherapy and other radiation based treatments for cancer. Nuclear Pharmacy is patient-oriented and a specialized pharmaceutical division requiring both knowledge and judgment for the safe and effective use of therapeutic radioactive drugs. It was the first area in pharmacy to be formally recognized as a specialty practice.
Nuclear pharmacists receive extensive training on the various radiopharmaceuticals that they use. It is mandatory for nuclear pharmacists to be trained in radiation safety and other aspects specific to the compounding and preparation of radioactive materials as well as having an internship in a nuclear pharmacy. Training in basic radioisotope handling techniques specifically applicable to the use of unsealed sources is required, directly concerning radiation physics and instrumentation, radiation protection, radiation biology, and radiopharmaceutical chemistry. A nuclear pharmacist must also be well versed in handling unsealed radioactive material under a qualified instructor. These tasks can range from including ordering, receiving, surveying, and unpacking radioactive materials safely, to the calibration of dose calibrators, scintillation detectors, and the calculation, preparation, and calibration of patient doses including the proper use of syringe shield.
Some daily practices include:
-Advising and assisting clinical pharmacology department about important matters.
-Ensure that the process of packaging and dispensing of radio pharmaceuticals is in compliance with safety rules and regulations of federal and state government.