I would venture to say that, in our dept the amount of lifting and etc involved is the same as a nurse on the floor or unit. We usually transfer pts from gurney to exam table and back; help push the beds/gurneys when transporting to and/or from exams; WEAR A LEAD APRON DURING FLUOROSCOPIC PROCEDURES (does great things for one's neck and trapezius area!) . . . We usually can get lots of help for transfers or if the pt is sent to us in a wheelchair, can't support his own weight during transfer, or, can't stand and step up onto a stool to get onto the exam table -- NEWSFLASH!!! Most X-ray tables in our dept DON'T GO DOWN ENOUGH AS TO BECOME EASY TO TRANSFER ONTO WITHOUT THE PT STEPPING ONTO A STEPSTOOL!! The Technologists are all willing to come en masse and assist with patient transfers. Pay scale?? Same as any RNs in our facility. We just recently received the specialty differential that the ER, OR and ICU nurses get.
Call? Ya gotta take call in ours, as we are a trauma center. Some facilites don't require the nurses to take call. We're on call one week out of four (arrangement of our choice: when it's done, it's done till the next stint), get paid a small amt for just carrying the beeper, then OT when we're called in for a case, no matter how long it lasts. Downside is, even if you've had two hours of sleep (which doesn't happen much, thankfully) you still show up for your next scheduled eight or ten-hour shift. If one of us is really thrashed, YES, the others would step in and give her a break (off early, cover call that nite, etc.). We have a good group of supportive nurses (have to, we're all we've got!!).
What's exciting is, Interventional Radiology has just exploded in the past 5 and 10 years. We no longer just do angios and heart caths and the occasional nephrostomy tube, as you read in my previous post -- and it's still changing, very dynamic (depends on what your Radiologists want to tackle!). New tools, catheters, techniques, approaches, hemostasis systems/devices, etc., etc. are always being developed and promoted. It's fascinating to go through the booths at the annual ARNA/SCVIR meeting (American Radiological Nurses Association/Society of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology) and take a gander at ALL the offerings!! Most of the advancements in the field are such a blessing for the patients, who can forgo surgery for an interventional procedure (some the surgeons won't touch with a ten-foot pole, and we're able to at least attempt, say, an embolization of a very vascular tumor that decreases blood flow enough that surgery then becomes an option -- would have been too risky for blood loss otherwise).
And YES, we are still nurses, we still are focused on patient care, as much as ever, --- particularly important during procedures. Other nurses may look sideways at us for not working in a traditional area: one ICU RN I've known for years always teases, "When are you going to become a REAL nurse???" IMHO, nurses are an essential and important part of the Radiology equation: Techs, Radiologists, Nurses, all for the good of the patient. Now, excuse me while I step down from my soapbox and hand it over to someone else. . . Sorry for being so long-winded! --- Diana