TCC Trinity River Welcomes High-Tech Imaging Camera

The TCC Trinity River Health Sciences Department will officially welcome an addition — and a mighty big one — to its arsenal of teaching hardware with an open house on Wednesday, Sept. 27, in Building TRHN, Room 2111.

The new arrival, a Siemens Symbia Evo gamma camera, is large not only physically (length 15 feet, weight 7,000+ pounds), and hefty in price ($249,058), but also in its importance in training students for careers in the exciting world of nuclear medicine.

“TCC’s Nuclear Medicine Technology program is one of four such programs in Texas and the only traditional, campus-based program in North Texas,” said Health Science Dean Brandon Hernandez. “With the recent addition of the gamma camera for onsite lab practicum, students will have opportunities to learn key concepts with practical applications prior to and throughout the required clinical practicums. This will better prepare them not only for clinical practicums but greatly enhance entry-level readiness for the workforce.”

Nuclear medicine has been called “inside-out radiography” because, unlike traditional X-ray imaging, the radioactive substance is placed inside the patient’s body rather than in an external mechanism. The camera detects photons emitted from the patient and converts them into multiple images much like a computerized tomography, or CT, scan.

“So, the gamma camera itself is just a big detector,” said Tonya Pigulsky, coordinator of TCC’s Nuclear Medicine Technology program. “The images create a picture, and then the software takes all of that data and creates the detailed information.”