Radiology tech, vs Radiology Nurse??

  1. Hey everyone im in the second year of nursing school, and radiology nursing seems to really interest me. I was wondering what the difference was between a Radiology Tech and a Radiology Nurse??? Is the pay also very different?? If anyone can help me with this it would be greaty appreciated!! :spin:
  2. Visit wackyj2000 profile page

    About wackyj2000

    Joined: Jun '06; Posts: 73; Likes: 7
    Registered Nurse; from MA
    Specialty: Cardiac Tele


  3. by   dianah
    The technologists complete a rigorous 2-yr program whereby they learn A&P, positioning for radiographs, physics of X-rays and radiation, and simple CNA-type skills. They take the X-rays ("plain" films), or go on to build on their Rad. Tech. skills to learn CT, MRI, Radiation Therapy, Cardiac Cath or Angiography, Mammography, Nuclear Medicine or Ultrasound. Their focus is on patient care as well, but from a different perspective (that of obtaining the images). I have known CT and Angio techs who are very savvy about VS and hemodynamics and patient care. However, they're not licensed as nurses but as technologists. For example, although our techs were trained in "tipping" the patients for a barium enema ("BE"), we nurses were occasionally called to "tip" the patient if the tech met resistance (not willful resistance, but physical resistance that impeded the process of placing the tip of the enema device into the rectum). I've known techs who were very skilled at starting IVs, whereas where I most recently worked, only the nurses started the IVs for out-patient contrast administration.

    You might want to shadow a tech for a day or two, in different areas of the Imaging Department, to get a better idea of what the Techs and Nurses do. The Nursing duties vary from facility to facility, although for the most part they're responsible for Moderate Sedation administration and patient monitoring, during procedures (biopsies, angiograms, TIPS, myelograms, Nephrostomy tube placements, Ash-Split cath placement, other tunneled cath placements, PICC line placement under fluroscopy, Portacath placement, vascular embolization, etc etc).

    Good luck in your search to find your niche.
  4. by   billisuea
    I worked for 20 years as a radiologic technologist then in 2002 decided that it would be fun to be a registered nurse. There are many aspects to radiology nursing, there are cath lab nurses that work closely with radiology tech and cardiologist doing heart and vascular procedures, there are interventional radiologist who also do some heart procedures, picc lines, infusaport catheters and vascular procedures, and then radiologist who need assistance with ct biopsies and myleograms procedures. It is a really interesting field to get into. The hospital I work at in the cath lab the cardiologist do all the heart procedures, heart caths and stents. We have vascular surgeons who do angiograms and carotid stents. Then Radiology Nurses assist the Radiologist with CT Biopsies giving Moderate Sedation. And myleogram with anxiety relief. All this requires a knowledge of cardiac monitoring, critical care drugs, ACLS.

    As an X-ray Tech, I was also involved in vascular procedures, assisting the vascular surgeon with catheter placement, aquiring the appropriate radiographs for proper diagnostic exam. I'm also registered in CAT Scan tech, so i assisted the physician with diagnositic exams. I also worked in the emergency room as a x-ray tech so I got to see alot of trauma.

    Good luck with your career, either choose would be a good experience
  5. by   nr3c
    I am somewhat familiar with Rad Techs from the other end of the spectrum. My MS is in Medical Physics. I'm deciding what route to take now.........nursing, rad tech, med school. I can't get a job with my non-experience. Looking forward to some discussion on this.
  6. by   lostinparadise
    quick question: my friend wants to do the radiation therapy thing meaning an AS in radiograhpy from a CC. She keeps saying that their starting pay is around 60 to 80k I just don't believe her. That would be more than RN ?
  7. by   11:11
    The RT(R)'s I work with make over $30.00 per hour.

    They not only do the radiology part but also scrub in. Sometimes the RNs do it but mostly we monitor, chart, and do sedation-
  8. by   shortie.ja
    I am currently attending nursing school to get my Bsn in Nursing but i wanted to transition to radiography after because i find it really interesting, what would be the best thing to do? Should i go into Radiology Nursing or should i just go back to school and study radiography? To be a radiology tech?
    What would be a more logical transition?
  9. by   jer_sd
    all positions in radiology are unique, radiologic technologist, radiation therapist, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, dosimetry and nursing. if you are are interested see if you can spend time in the various areas and see which role you like.
  10. by   DecidingKM
    What type of certification do you need in order to give moderate sedation if any? What is the best way to get started as a radiology nurse?
  11. by   jer_sd
    rns provide moderate sedation in multiple areas, GI, ER, radiology. The rn is usually required to have ACLS or PALS as appropriate and complete a facility competecy program in moderate sedation.

    I lucked into radiology 11 years ago, having er and ICU experience is usually recomended. As the radiology rn you may be handeling cardiac gtts, acute sepsis, airways issues, contrast reactions, GI bleeds, ect...... It can be easy or extremly challanging depending on the case. Then you can also have chance to scrub in on cases recover patients, pre-op them all depending on where you work.

  12. by   wabrams
    Quote from lostinparadise
    quick question: my friend wants to do the radiation therapy thing meaning an AS in radiograhpy from a CC. She keeps saying that their starting pay is around 60 to 80k I just don't believe her. That would be more than RN ?
    Sounds about right for radiation therapy. What a lot of people don't understand is that radiation is a drug just like morphine, pencilin, etc. It takes an MD's order to dispense it (i.e. an order for the exam), you must know the proper way to dispense it (how the exam is to be done), and the side effects (dangers of radiation).

    In radiation therapy doses of 3000 to 7000 RAD (Radiation Absorbed Dose)are given to the patient over a prescribed amount of time. For a comparison of how much that is, no one has ever lived after recieving 1000 RAD at one time. So you better believe radiation therapists are going to be paid a pretty penny; only problem is that is now a saturated area of radiology.
  13. by   cathmarm
    Radiology Nursing is not the same as Interventional Radiology in the larger hospitals. Nurses make more money than the technologists, unless they have the CVIS certificate and the hospital pays a differential.

    Questions to ask yourself.
    Radiology nurse only, how big is the hospital, how many and what types of procedures do they perform.
    Interventional Radiology, (Cath Lab nursing)
    Interventioanl Cardiovascular (Cath Lab nursing)
    What specialties in Radiology do you want. CT, MRI, Radiation Oncology? Some Rad departments pay differentials based on passing cert. tests.
    Take a visit to the different departments and see what they do, ask the nurses about on call and call back. Ask your family, spouse if they will divorce for being gone too much when you get called in. I have seen it happen for busy Cath Lab staff.

    Good Luck
  14. by   mattm89
    I'm currently in school to be an xray tech...would it be smart to go into nursing school after that to become a radiology nurse? Do you need to have your license to be a rad tech in order to be a rad nurse or am I essentially wasting my time in school to be a tech if I plan on being a rad nurse? Also, what is the salary difference and would I actually be making more money being a rad nurse with the tech degree than I would if I were to be a rad nurse without the tech degree?