goheh

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I'm currently in my first year of undergraduate college. The guy I work-study for is the pre-pharmacy advisor for my school, so only recently I've gotten in touch with the relatively 'quiet' field of pharmacy. I've shadowed a radiologist a couple of years ago and thought that was the best thing ever. However, the whole extremely competitive nature of allopathic medicine is a major turn-off for me. I heard of a subspecialty called "nuclear pharmacy" and decided to investigate.

I've tried contacting a few nuclear pharmacists whose email addresses I found visiting Purdue University's website, but all 15 except for one do not practice nuclear pharmacy anymore. What's a nuclear pharmacist's job like? What is similar/dissimiliar to a radiologist's job? Why is it so short-lived, or did I just run into bad luck? I don't even know how much they are compensated. So please, if you are a nuclear pharmacist now or in the past, inform me with all you know about this profession!
 

ultracet

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goheh said:
I'm currently in my first year of undergraduate college. The guy I work-study for is the pre-pharmacy advisor for my school, so only recently I've gotten in touch with the relatively 'quiet' field of pharmacy. I've shadowed a radiologist a couple of years ago and thought that was the best thing ever. However, the whole extremely competitive nature of allopathic medicine is a major turn-off for me. I heard of a subspecialty called "nuclear pharmacy" and decided to investigate.

I've tried contacting a few nuclear pharmacists whose email addresses I found visiting Purdue University's website, but all 15 except for one do not practice nuclear pharmacy anymore. What's a nuclear pharmacist's job like? What is similar/dissimiliar to a radiologist's job? Why is it so short-lived, or did I just run into bad luck? I don't even know how much they are compensated. So please, if you are a nuclear pharmacist now or in the past, inform me with all you know about this profession!
My understanding of the field is that they mainly compound radioactive products. Cancer patients etc.

Major reason I don't care to know anything about it.... i am a young woman of childbearing age and wouldn't take the risk of cancer.
 

ForgetMeNot

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I spent 5 weeks at a nuclear pharmacy on a rotation. The pharmacists spent their shift making mostly injectable radioactive pharmaceuticals for diagnostic purposes (heart, liver, bone, etc imaging). Phone calls would come in throughout the day from the various nuclear medicine departments or physician's offices in the area with orders for the following day or "stat" orders for that day. Every so often, a blood sample would come in so a pharmacist could radiolabel the white blood cells, after which the blood would be re-injected into the patient.

Oh, and I met a woman who has been a nuclear pharmacist for the past 12 years, and has 4 perfectly happy and healthy children. This pharmacist has no health issues either.

I wasn't worried about any risk of cancer from the radiation exposure, especially after my first day of rotation. Badges and rings are wore to measure the radiation exposure, and Geiger counters were always heard in the background.

From what I gathered about hourly wages, it's pretty close to what every other pharmacist gets paid, at a hospital, hospice, home infusion company, etc. The place I was at had 4 10-hour shifts, so the pharmacists had time to have a part-time job as well.

I don't know about the average length of employment in the world of nuclear pharmacy.
 

rxgal8

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indoflip

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rxgal8 said:
I heard that most nuclear pharmacists work very early morning shifts, so it would help to be a morning person.
I've heard they work shifts like 3 AM - 10 AM :sleep:
 

ForgetMeNot

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rxgal8 said:
I heard that most nuclear pharmacists work very early morning shifts, so it would help to be a morning person.
The place I was at had shifts 5am-3pm, 7am-5pm, 8am-6pm, 11am-9pm, 9pm-5am.
 
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goheh

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ForgetMeNot said:
From what I gathered about hourly wages, it's pretty close to what every other pharmacist gets paid, at a hospital, hospice, home infusion company, etc. The place I was at had 4 10-hour shifts, so the pharmacists had time to have a part-time job as well.

What do you mean by "part-time job as well?"
 

ForgetMeNot

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goheh said:
What do you mean by "part-time job as well?"
One of the pharmacists worked ~10hours/week at a Target and another ~10hours/week at a hospital. (He always had Fridays off so he worked Fridays at a hospital and Saturdays/Sundays at Target.) He said he did that so he could keep up with the traditional (read: retail and hospital) world of pharmacy.
Another nuclear pharmacists worked ~20hours/week at a long term facility making IVs on his days off.
 
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goheh

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ForgetMeNot said:
One of the pharmacists worked ~10hours/week at a Target and another ~10hours/week at a hospital. (He always had Fridays off so he worked Fridays at a hospital and Saturdays/Sundays at Target.) He said he did that so he could keep up with the traditional (read: retail and hospital) world of pharmacy.
Another nuclear pharmacists worked ~20hours/week at a long term facility making IVs on his days off.
Aha, thanks for the clarification.