Do you recommend radiology nursing for me?

  1. Hi Everyone,
    If you've read my other posts you know that I'm really burned out by ICU nursing and I'm looking for a big change. I thought I might like working in our hospital's angio department. I know they have a pretty good job satisfaction rate. I like patient interaction, I'm experienced with patient monitoring and sedation already. I have good critical thinking skills and I am well organized. My impression is that this is a less stressful area then ICU, would you agree with this?

    Also, I fully plan on having 2-3 children within the next 5 years. Would the safety concerns of radiology make you think twice about this career if you were me or do you feel that the safety protocols in place for pregnant women are acceptably safe?

    Thanks SO much!!
  2. Visit MarySunshine profile page

    About MarySunshine

    Joined: Apr '04; Posts: 402; Likes: 79


  3. by   dianah
    Hi Mary!

    A change to angio will be stressful at first while you learn a new area. Your skills sound like they'd be perfect for that area.

    Would you be taking call?
    Would you work angio/interventional/Cath Lab, or just angio/interventional, or ? ? ?
    If Cath Lab, is it a diagnostic or interventional lab?

    Stress level rises and falls depending on, of course, what's happening w/your pt. Doing a high-risk pt in the Cath Lab who crashes can raise one's stress level.
    So, is the area you're considering MORE high-stress than ICU?
    Not knowing what kinds of pts you take in the ICU, and what kind of Angio area you'd be transferring to, I can't hazard a guess.
    It's a different kind of stress.
    The Rad. Depts and Cath Labs I've worked in offer more autonomy to the RN = good for an organized, self-driven competent individual.

    Re: your radiation safety concern:
    Inquire into the policies of the dept.
    If you become pregnant while working in an area where you're exposed to radiation, your Radiation Safety Officer should have protocols set up.
    Both times I became pregnant while working in Radiology, I notified TPTB IMMEDIATELY of my condition.
    I was required to view a safety video and sign a document stating I had been informed of the risks of working in my area.
    My colleague and I tested the aprons to see if they truly stopped all radiation (we put a test badge inside and wore it for a month to see if any levels showed; they did not).
    I wore double aprons (front and back) while setting up and fled the fluoro room when fluoro was used (stayed in the Control booth) -- especially during the first trimester.
    My kids were both born healthy and on time.
    I was off call about two months before my due date (got really tired).
    I worked the Friday before giving birth on Sunday.
    In otherwords, it IS do-able; just make sure YOU and your baby are protected (I hope all who work with you are as protective as my co-workers were with me).

    Hope the above helps; good luck! (BTW, I worked 21 yr in Radiology, which included staffing the Cath Lab, in one facility. I've worked in three other facilities' cath labs, for a total of 27 years in that area )
  4. by   JoAnna McNurse
    Many years before I became an RN in 2005, I was an RT (ARRT) in radiology. During those days, back in the 1980's there were no nurses working in the "special studies" / surgy department I worked. Now that I'm an RN and I'm sick of working on a floor, I'm wondering what a day in IR is like for a nurse.
    Any info is appreciated.