St. Luke's Hospital's Nuclear Medicine Technologist Receives Certification


Scott Knestaut, St. Luke's Hospital Nuclear Medicine Technologist, recently joined the exclusive group of those fortunate enough to pass the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board Examination.

The NMTCB is the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board, formed for the purpose of creating and maintaining examinations for nuclear medicine technologists (NMTs). Since 1978, the NMTCB has offered a high-quality certification exam for NMTs.

What is a nuclear medicine technologist and what do they do? You've probably seen patients undergoing radiation therapy for cancer, and doctors ordering PET scans to diagnose patients. These are part of the medical specialty called nuclear medicine. Nuclear medicine uses radioactive substances to look inside the body and treat disease.

One problem with the human body is that it is opaque, and looking inside is generally painful. In the past, exploratory surgery was one common way to look inside the body, but today doctors can use a huge array of non-invasive techniques. Nuclear medicine imaging techniques give doctors another way to look inside the human body. The techniques combine the use of computers, detectors, and radioactive substances. These techniques include:
Positron emission tomography (PET)
Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)
Cardiovascular imaging
Bone scanning, to name a few.

All of these techniques use different properties of radioactive elements to create an image. In nuclear medicine imaging tests, injected radioactive substances do not harm the body. The radioisotopes used in nuclear medicine decay quickly, in minutes to hours, have lower radiation levels than a typical X-ray or CT scan, and are eliminated in the urine or bowel movement.

Nuclear medicine imaging is useful for detecting tumors, aneurysms, irregular or inadequate blood flow to various tissues and blood cell disorders and inadequate functioning of organs, such as thyroid and pulmonary function deficiencies.

The use of any specific test, or combination of tests, depends upon the patient's symptoms and the disease being diagnosed.

By becoming certified, Mr. Knestaut is recognized in the nuclear medicine profession as a premier examiner, is recognized by state licensure agencies throughout the United States and can now use the professional credential "CNMT" to identify as a certified nuclear medicine technologist.

Mr. Knestaut lives in Asheville and has been in the nuclear medicine field for over 10 years. He joined the professional staff of St. Luke's Hospital in 2005.

"We are so proud of Scott and his accomplishments," said Teresa Davis, Imaging Services Director. "Scott is well respected by his co-workers and loved by his patients. We are very fortunate to have him at St. Luke's Hospital."
The Imaging Services Department at St. Luke's Hospital can be reached at (828) 894-3311.

With NMT Certification, Scott Knestaut and St. Luke's Hospital will continue to provide exceptional care, close to home.