As an experienced medical technologist, Jacqueline Swafford-Thistle has worked with a number of nuclear diagnostic systems. Jackie Swafford-Thistle stands out as a former supervisor and staff nuclear medicine technologist at Saints Medical Center of Massachusetts, where she oversaw and conducted numerous diagnostic procedures.
In the field of medical diagnostics, nuclear medicine presents advanced options for detecting abnormalities. There are a number of such tests, from cardiovascular imaging to topography, although the basic process is similar throughout the industry. When performing a nuclear imaging test, radioactive material is introduced into the patient’s body. Depending on the test, it may be ingested, inhaled, or injected. Then, doctors and technologists use scanning equipment that detects radioactivity in the body.
One popular nuclear diagnostic procedure is the nuclear stress test, a cardiovascular imaging strategy. When undergoing this procedure, medical professionals inject a patient with radioactive material and then ask the patient to perform an aerobic activity. After the exercise, then later without the exercise, technologists use a scanner that detects the flow of the radioactive material and thus analyzes blood flow. Other types of nuclear imaging involve the introduction of a compound that targets areas of significant metabolic activity. This type of testing is often selected to identify the presence or location of tumors, which metabolize faster than normal body tissue.