A radiology nurse works with different types of medical imaging, such as x-rays (including CAT scans), sonograms, ultrasound, mammograms, nuclear medicine, angiography, and magnetic resonance (MRI). This is one of the RN jobs that require a strong comfort level with technology. In addition, radiology nurses need to have physical stamina, as they are usually on their feet for long hours, and they must often wear heavy lead aprons to protect them from imaging rays.
Many nurses come into radiology from a different field, such as emergency and trauma, or critical care nursing. This is because radiology nurses are often part of the team that responds first to an emergency situation. Because of this, radiology nurses need to be able to be composed in stressful situations. They also need to have the ability to assess a medical situation and make quick decisions.
Most radiology nurses work in radiology departments. These may be found within hospital settings or in separate medical facilities, such as women’s health facilities or cardiac clinics.
A radiology nurse’s job includes assessing patients, review their medical histories, briefing them about the imaging procedure, administering any necessary fluids, dyes, or medications, inserting IVs, and monitoring patients during procedures. Once the procedure is completed, radiology nurses offer any needed follow-up care and instructions.
Radiology nurses enjoy a large amount of independence in their jobs, and they are generally highly respected in their departments. They work very closely with radiologists and other highly-educated physicians and decision makers, and they find that their opinions matter in the critical care process.
In order to become a radiology nurse, you must have obtained your registered nurse credential, and it is preferred that you have a bachelor’s degree rather than an associate’s degree. You must then become certified to work in radiology. Salary can vary widely depending on location.