Any other radiology nurses??

  1. I recently changed jobs and I am now an RN working in the radiology department. It is much different than anything else I had done in the past, but I couldn't beat the schedule: M-F 8:30-5, no nights, holidays, weekends, or call!! I have been there for about a month now and I really love it! I have lots of autonomy. I start IV's when needed (the techs can actually do it themselves, and some are quite good at it too), assist the radiologists with procedures such as CT guided needle biopsies and needle punch breast biopsies, and I also do the cardiac stress tests. I am really enjoying this position and I wondered if there were any other nurses out there that might have similar positions. I would love to hear from you!!
    •  
  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   dianah
    There is a specialty section in this BB, and it even has our sub-specialty (!!) but isn't used as much as this general area. I've worked in Radiology for at least 22 years, the last 20 years at the same facility. We have four nurses; two work 4-10's (7-5:30) and two work 5-8's (8-4:30). Unfortunately, we pull call, once a month for a week, as we do trauma angios and other urgent interventional procedures. We used to help with the Persantine and Dobutamine stress testing but since the hospital consolidated their Cardiac Diagnostics in preparation for opening a Cardiac Rehab area, those exams are now done in that Cardiac Diagnostics dept. We do assist with pre-procedure education and screening of CT- and Ultrasound-guided biopsies and abscess drains (check PT/PTT, NPO status, etc.), as well as setting up and monitoring the pt during the exam, even if no sedation is given ('course, we give that too if needed). We have a nurse stationed in CT (two scan rooms) to start all outpt IVs (for IVPs also, as well as do catheterizations for cystograms, adult and peds) and monitor contrast injections for ALL pts, in- and out-pt. One nurse covers "the office," fielding prn calls and helping coordinate scheduling of future exams, as well as starting IVs for MRI contrast administration and interviewing pts to administer (po) anxiolytics and meds for pain control when needed. Oh, she also takes care of ordering supplies for the three procedure rooms (the procedure nurses hand over lists and she orders). The other two nurses assist with procedures: PICCs; dialysis cath placements/removals/tPA infusions for suboptimal functioning caths; angios, peripheral angioplasties and stents; TIPS; chemoembolization of hepatomas; uterine fibroid embolizations; percutaneous nephrostomy placements/exchanges; heart catheterizations (with interventions in the near future); portacath placements; permanent pacer insertions; discograms . . . I'm sure I've forgotten something!! I know why you like working Radiology! It is 1:1 pt care, uses a lot of varied nursing skills and allows independent thinking as well as input into the direction of the pt care for each procedure. It is a satisfying feeling to know you've helped a pt get through a much-dreaded exam with a minimum of discomfort and a great sense of relief for the pt after the exam (when you're working like mad to prevent complications or desatting, and trying to remain cool with the pt!). But I could go on and on . . . tell more about what YOU do! -- Diana
  4. by   mattsmom81
    Radiology nursing sounds like a very interesting and challenging position ladies!

    I'll be watching this thread for more descriptions of what ya'll do...tell me more...like how much lifting is expected? Would this be a good job for an older or injured nurse who cannot lift or would such limitations be a problem?

    I'm always interested in reading about nurses who do a little different kind of nursing than the ol' bedside role...thanks for sharing!
  5. by   getbabygirl
    What is the starting pay rate?
  6. by   dianah
    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
  7. by   frann
    I just started in Jan. in IR. I will never ever go back to floor nursing. I'm much happier, not as tired. I work with a great bunch. The doctors treat you with respect. We have 6 nurses on a day. day ends at 5:30. We have 3 fluoro rooms, ct is next door.
    I think they have 4 radiology techs. on a day with 2 assistants.
    The really confused patients-don't see them too much. the only medicicne I have given is versed and fentanyl and valium. We have a lot of outpatients coming in for procedures-biopsys and angios, and facets
    I love going to work now.
  8. by   dianah
    frann, so good to hear you love work now! Nurses are so versatile, and our options are so varied. I know that in your present position you will use every bit of nursing experience you have from your past. Good luck! -- Diana
  9. by   RN4ustat
    I have to agree with Frann. The atmosphere at this hospital is so different than anywhere else I have ever worked. And the people are all genuinely nice to each other. There isn't as much bickering among staff members as there has been at other facilities I've been at. I actually enjoy my job and look forward to going to work. Sure there are days when I go home exhausted, with tired feet, and aching muscles (from standing for long periods while wearing a lead apron) or have to fight one battle or another and put out many fires, but this is still better than anything I have ever done before!! Yesterday, all the procedures were done and I was getting ready to go home early, when the CT tech got called in for a stat head in the ER. I helped her get the pt on the table and back again after the scan and transported him back to ER when I got called to do a port study. That consists of injecting a radiopaque dye through a pts port under fluoroscopy to check for patency. It usually doesn't take very long under normal circumstances, but this patient had been given IV dilaudid and had on a duragesic patch and was not very cognitively intact. Well, the floor nurse had allowed the patient to sign her own consent and had not even bothered to witness it. The family was not available so I spent the better part of an hour trying to put out this fire. Finally, the pcp came over and declared it an emergent procedure so that covered us. We did the procedure and everything turned out fine. So thats the kind of battle I run into occasionally, but it really is worth it in the long run.
  10. by   RN4ustat
    Diana,

    I would like more info on the ARNA. Can you tell me where to find it?? Do they have a journal or a website? Any info you have is very appreciated. Thanks!!
  11. by   dianah
    www.arna.net is the website, and you can send for the Core Curriculum, Job Description(s) and other resources for this relatively new field. Their sub-categories on the website don't move real fast (not like the General Discussions here!!!) but there's a lot of info there, and the nurses seem genuinely willing to jump in and help each other. I was amazed at the things other nurses were involved in when I first attended the annual meeting (before our own dept expanded two years ago, after the hiring of the first of two Interventional Radiologists). AND, I know what you mean about putting those fires out!! Ya gotta tend to the details or you'll be in the fire yourself!!! Great to hear from you!

close