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Jocelyn Charest, NMT alumni.

Alumni Spotlight: Jocelyn Charest, NMT

  • Jocelyn Charest, Nuclear Medicine Technology, is a firm believer in the concept of “lifelong learning”. After graduating from MCPHS with a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Medicine Technology, she went on to earn a computed tomography license and a master’s degree in healthcare administration—all while learning experientially through her full-time job.

    Now, as an experienced nuclear medicine technologist and medical imaging professional, Jocelyn uses her comprehensive knowledge and passion for learning to help support the education of others.

    At Southcoast Health, a hospital system located on Massachusetts’ South Shore, Jocelyn works as the Quality and Education Manager of Radiology Imaging Services. In this role, she oversees the education of student workers and develops ongoing learning opportunities for the company’s employees.

    “Education is continuous and ongoing, and it’s something that should be embraced as technology is always changing,” says Jocelyn. “At work, and in life in general, I strive to continue to learn, grown and challenge myself.”

    Inspired by her own dedication to learning, we sat down with Jocelyn to learn more about her experiences in the field of nuclear medicine.

    Have you always wanted to pursue a career in healthcare?

    I always wanted to help and interact with people. I had a few family friends that worked in radiology and I thought it was very interesting. When I started to do some research, I found nuclear medicine and was fascinated by the fact that this modality could look inside the body using an radiopharmaceutical injection.

    It was kind of a strange conversation when I told my parents that I wanted to go into healthcare. Both of my parents work in the business field and have business degrees, so it was a whole new world for them when I started my college search! But, they were supportive and took me to all the open houses while I made my decision.

    Once you decided that nuclear medicine technology was the path for you, what aspects of MCPHS’s NMT program made you decide to enroll?

    I chose MCPHS because it was one of the only schools in the area that, at the time, offered a bachelor’s degree in nuclear medicine technology. It was also a three year program, which meant that I could start and finish a BS degree before anyone else my age! This meant that I could start working in the field sooner.

    What did you enjoy most your experience in the MCPHS NMT program?

    I really loved the clinical experiences. I rotated through some amazing sites at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, New England Medical Center (now Tufts), Boston Children’s Hospital, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Many of the nuclear medicine technologists I met at these sites were graduates of the MCPHS NMT program. They were supportive as I immersed myself in the clinical setting—even if it was learning about scheduling or billing, I wanted to know every aspect of what would be expected from me when I became a nuclear medicine technologist.

    Tell us about your career.

    When I first graduated, I worked in a clinical setting at a hospital. This meant I worked directly with patients, their families, and the physicians that I supported. It was great meeting and interacting with everyone as I continued to learn.

    After that, I started working at Southcoast Health as a Clinical Educator in Nuclear Medicine. Now, I work at Southcoast as the Quality and Education Manager of Radiology Imaging Services. Although I don’t work directly with patients anymore, I’m able to do quality work, which I was exposed to as part of my master’s degree. I’m also responsible for overseeing nuclear medicine, radiography, and ultrasound students that come to Southcoast Health to complete their clinical hours. My role also includes coordinating and planning education opportunities for our current radiology employees. Overall, I’m able to work with our radiology leadership team to make decisions that impact the care that we provide our patients.

    It sounds like you’re passionate about lifelong learning.

    Learning continues long after school finishes. In order to become a competent technologist, one that other technologists looked to for guidance and assistance, I was open to learning from my peers and other technologists who had experiences that I hadn’t been exposed to yet.

    In what ways have you continued to learn and pursue education opportunities after graduating from MCPHS?

    I’ve been able to expand myself professionally by taking the Computed Tomography (CT) Registry. I’m only the second person in Massachusetts to hold licenses to practice both nuclear medicine and computed tomography.

    Additionally, I went back to school to earn my Masters in Health Administration. I always knew that I wanted to be in some type of leadership role, so I thought that getting my MHA was a step in the right direction.

    Outside of your recommendation to constantly seek our opportunities to learn and grow, what other advice would you offer current students?

    Talk to people who work in the field. Reach out to a hospital and see if you can shadow a healthcare practitioner. I did this at a local hospital when I was a junior in high school, and it was great to get that level of exposure. It’s exciting to get a glimpse of what a day in the life of your future self looks like!

    Interested in a career in medical imaging? Learn more about nuclear medicine technology at MCPHS.