CT scan job advice


Hello nurses, not sure if this is the right place to put this thread BUT I am in need of advice again!!!

Just wondering if anyone had any experience working as an RN in CT scan, how it is and would you recommend it... I have a few years in bedside nursing and hear great things about CT scan but would love more info from people actually in the field. They say it is less stressful than bedside, that all I would need to do is put in peripheral IVs, check labs and thats it...


Double-Helix, BSN, RN

1 Article; 3,377 Posts

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU. Has 12 years experience.

I work in radiology, as a portion of my job. Inserting peripheral IVs is certainly a big part of the job. You'll also be screening patients for contrast risk factors. There's also a high potential for allergic reactions when IV contrast is administered, so you'll probably be a big part of the emergency response. In general, though, way less stressful than bedside nursing- especially in an outpatient center.

I'll add, though, that if all I did was nursing related to CT scan every day, I'd be bored silly before long. I need more variety in my work day.

It will be an inpatient center. Do emergencies happen often there?? I guess allergies to contrast...

Thank you!


1 Post

It really depends on where you are working and what you are comfortable with. I work at a smaller hospital, but the only one in our county that does any IR. I am the only radiology nurse for the hospital, as well as being the only PICC RN. Vacations are stressful, have to coordinate all of the patients before and after. Would you only be CT? Or working in all modalities? I coordinate all of the FNAs, breast bx's, thoras, and paras for US, the organ biopsies and abscess drainages for CT, and all the coronary CTAs. I only start IVs for biopsies and coronary CTAs, the techs do their own and only come to me if they cannot get it. While the job is less stressful in that I do not have an inpatient assignment, there are different stresses that are involved.

You have to have excellent clinical judgement skills, good assessment skills, and be a resource for techs. The big thing is, at least at my job, YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN. Something hits the fan, I am the only nurse in radiology until I hit the code button. I schedule the patients, do telephone assessments, prep the patients for procedures, help the MDs with the procedures, and recover the patients. Everything I do is self guided, I do not have anyone telling me what, when, or how to do something, but I need to be ready at all times to be able to defend my rationale and what I do. Reading up on journal articles to help keep the radiologists and techs up to date with EBP is also part, as is helping with policy and procedure. I REALLY LOVE MY JOB. But, its not for everyone. Other people passed up the job before I applied due to being pulled in 50 directions at once. But, I would take it over med surg any day!

Thank you for the sound advice! I can tell you definitely love your job AZPICCRN. Definitely a good thing when you like what you do...