Nuclear Technologist Career Journey: An Interview with Denise McRae

Nuclear Technologist Career Journey: An Interview with Denise McRae

Denise McRae works as a nuclear technologist for Digirad and has provided mobile nuclear medicine with Digirad for over 18 years. She is based in Northern New Jersey, and her route takes her to New York City, Long Island, Northern New Jersey, and even parts of Pennsylvania. We sat down with McRae to talk about her career and role with Digirad.

The Path to Becoming a Nuclear Technologist

Before working in the nuclear cardiology, Denise spent time in education and worked at a nuclear pharmacy. During her role at the pharmacy, she interacted with nuclear technologists regularly and learned about nuclear cardiology, stress tests, and the broader field. Over time this sparked an interest in becoming a nuclear technologist and saw her continuing her education and eventually become a certified nuclear technologist.

On The Road & Making a Difference

In her role at Digirad, Denise travels to different private practices and uses a portable, triple-head cardiac camera to perform SPECT MPI studies. The Digirad Cardius C3 is transported into a standard patient room where she works in tandem with a cardiac stress tech to provide the imaging. At the end of the day, she loads the camera up and heads back to the hub.

Denise has seen the studies she provides have a direct impact on the health of her patients. “Countless times, I’ve seen a positive study come back, and we had to immediately get the patient to the Cath lab or be admitted to the hospital,” said McRae. “Knowing that the study may have saved their life is amazing, and it means a lot to be a part of that.”

There is a lot of opportunity at Digirad, and it’s nice to be in a place where I can grow.

Over her 18 years, Denise has gotten to know the accounts on her route. Even though she only visits them one day a week, she feels like part of the team and has relationships with every office. “I’ve been with many of these practices for years, and it’s been touching to see their lives change and their families grow.”

The Mobile Healthcare Career Path

Denise likes working for Digirad because she can make a real difference while also being autonomous. As Denise says, “You see a different group of people each day, different facilities, and experience different facets of the healthcare world.” The mobility of the Digirad service means Denise is not in the same location each day.

Working in the mobile healthcare field requires a certain level of drive. “You have to be willing to learn new things and pick them up quickly,” said McRae. “Working at Digirad means thinking outside the box and using your authority to solve problems in creative ways.”

Get the bonus content: Key Skills for Cardiac Stress Technicians

Denise is currently learning more about radiation safety and taking on a role in the Digirad radiation safety program. “There is a lot of opportunity at Digirad, and it’s nice to be in a place where I can grow.” Independence and a drive for excellence have defined her career with Digirad, and we’re glad Denise McRae is a part of our team.


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