The purpose of this paper is to review basic radiation biology and associated terminology to impart a better understanding of the importance of basic concepts of ionizing radiation interactions with living tissue. As health care workers in a field that utilizes ionizing radiation, nuclear medicine technologists are concerned about the possible acute and chronic effects of occupational radiation exposure. Technologists should have a clear understanding of what they are exposed to and how their safety could be affected. Furthermore, technologists should be knowledgeable about radiation effects so that they can adequately assuage possible patient fears about undergoing a nuclear medicine procedure. After reading this article, the nuclear medicine technologist will be familiar with basic radiation biology concepts; types of interactions of radiation with living tissue, and possible effects from that exposure; theoretic dose-response curves and how they are used in radiation biology; stochastic versus nonstochastic effects of radiation exposure, and what these terms mean in relation to both high- and low-dose radiation exposure; and possible acute and chronic radiation exposure effects.