nuclear pharmacy is a specialty area of pharmacy practice involved with the preparation of radioactive materials to improve and promote health through the safe and effective use of radioactive drugs to diagnose and treat specific disease states. in addition to the didactic training, practical training in a nuclear pharmacy is required. to become a board of pharmacy specialties (bps) board certified nuclear pharmacist® (bcnp), smallwood explained, a pharmacist must: the salary for a nuclear pharmacists can vary depending upon location, experience, certifications and other skills. this is in contrast to the commercial centralized nuclear pharmacy where radiopharmaceuticals are prepared and then delivered to the hospital and/or clinic. while the quantity of radiopharmaceuticals used is relatively small in both settings, nuclear pharmacists must complete additional training in radiation safety regarding the compounding, preparation, and delivery of radioactive materials.
in addition, radiopharmaceuticals must be available 24/7 for emergencies and a nuclear pharmacist is on-call at times. all dosages are dispensed to the nuclear medicine physician who administers them to the patient and handles the insurance processing. the nuclear pharmacy specialty, according to smallwood, is a particularly competitive field. the five-week rotation allows fourth-year pharmacy students to experience working as a nuclear pharmacist. smallwood recommends those considering specializing in nuclear pharmacy participate in the elective as the academics and work hours are challenging.
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