Radiation technologist or BSN nursing?

  1. Hi I'm Canadian I was recently accepted to Medical radiation technology it's a competitive 3 year program that covers X-Ray, (CT), angiography, mammography, and mobile radiography.

    I was also accepted into BSN Nursing a 4 year degree at a competitive highly rated nursing school here.

    I'm honestly on the fence between which career to choose it's totally 50/50.

    If there are any nurses or rad techs who could give me some advice anything would be helpful
    •  
  2. Visit bluestar776 profile page

    About bluestar776

    Joined: Dec '15; Posts: 142; Likes: 27

    21 Comments

  3. by   dishes
    Look in the Canadian forum, new grads are struggling to find work. The job market for all health care professionals is competetive in many areas. Will you need to take a loan to finance your education? If so, is one program less expensive than the other?
  4. by   bluestar776
    Quote from dishes
    Look in the Canadian forum, new grads are struggling to find work. The job market for all health care professionals is competetive in many areas. Will you need to take a loan to finance your education? If so, is one program less expensive than the other?
    Luckily I live so close to the border alot of RN's here are able to get jobs in the states. There seems to be alot of RN jobs in the hospitals right across the border and they aren't too far. I won't be graduating until 2020 so i'm wondering if the job market may be different?

    I would say the programs are around the same price each year.. although Rad tech is a year shorter so that may make it cheaper.

    Yes I am getting a loan I usually get some very good grants that cut of the cost of my loan by alot.
  5. by   dishes
    What type of work environment suits your personality? A nurse's skill set has greater breadth than a radiation technician's. Nurses look after a group of patients and provide one on one care for brief periods of time. Nurses juggle their work day based on the priority of patients' need. A patient's nursing need can fluctuate throughout the day and as a result a nurse's work day can be chaotic and reactive. Whereas a radiation tech's skill set is focused, they see one patient at a time for the duration of the patient's diagnostic test and as a result their work day can be smoother and more proactive than a nurse's work day.
  6. by   bluestar776
    Quote from dishes
    What type of work environment suits your personality? A nurse's skill set has greater breadth than a radiation technician's. Nurses look after a group of patients and provide one on one care for brief periods of time. Nurses juggle their work day based on the priority of patients' need. A patient's nursing need can fluctuate throughout the day and as a result a nurse's work day can be chaotic and reactive. Whereas a radiation tech's skill set is focused, they see one patient at a time for the duration of the patient's diagnostic test and as a result their work day can be smoother and more proactive than a nurse's work day.
    For nursing there seems to be such a variety to places to work. I feel certain units may suit me better.. I have been in and out of the hospital with family and saw alot of the procedures and things the nurses do which I found very interesting. Physically I am strong and fit I feel like i'd be able to get to patients quickly in an emergency. But I wouldn't want a work environment where there's so much work you don't get your lunch break or a bathroom break or missing out on my family growing up.

    I heard in Ontario and X-ray tech and Nurse get similar pay but X-ray is less stressful and hours are better. But that could be a misconception.
  7. by   dishes
    Quote from bluestar776

    I heard in Ontario and X-ray tech and Nurse get similar pay but X-ray is less stressful and hours are better. But that could be a misconception.
    No, it's not a misconception.
  8. by   bluestar776
    Quote from dishes
    No, it's not a misconception.
    Have you had the chance to work with any technologists? I am doing job shadowing this week which I think will help me choose
  9. by   dishes
    I believe the pay for radiation technologists varies depending on the workplace, I imagine it is lower in private diagnostic clinics than in hospitals. There are radiation therapists (different from technologists) who are members of the Ontario Nurses Association and the hourly pay listed on their collective agreement is similar to RNs (approximately $32-$44/hr). Ask the technologist you are job shadowing what the hourly pay is.
  10. by   beckster_01
    I'm a nurse married to a rad tech, so perhaps I can help? Personally, I favor nursing. I find it more flexible, with more room for growth, where I can have an impact in developing my patient's plan of care. On the other hand as a rad tech my husband enjoys better hours and experiences a very low level of burn out compared to other medical fields. I think it sounds a bit boring to be honest, but in order to do something that is a bit more interesting (he is in urgent care), he would have to go back to school briefly for a certification, which he isn't interested in. As a nurse I like being very involved with my patients, where as in RT you come in, see the patient, and leave. You just have to decide what makes you happiest in your career.
  11. by   bluestar776
    Quote from dishes
    I believe the pay for radiation technologists varies depending on the workplace, I imagine it is lower in private diagnostic clinics than in hospitals. There are radiation therapists (different from technologists) who are members of the Ontario Nurses Association and the hourly pay listed on their collective agreement is similar to RNs (approximately $32-$44/hr). Ask the technologist you are job shadowing what the hourly pay is.
    I will for sure!
  12. by   dishes
    Quote from bluestar776
    I will for sure!
    Also look at CAMRT salary scale analysis for a province by province listing of medical imaging, radiation technologists and therapists hourly rates.
    Last edit by dishes on Mar 27, '16
  13. by   Loco-Bonita
    I can't speak to the market in Canada, or specifically to the market as a radiology tech.. But, I am a vascular technologist (vascular ultrasound) and am going back to school for nursing. My career is relatively stress free and can work in a clinic with nice hours, but it's harder to find a job (especially in larger areas) and there is less flexibility in where I can work. This may be a little broader for radiology. In the area I live, both careers have extremely similar pay (again, this may be different for a rad tech). Ultimately, both are great jobs. . It just depends on what you are looking for.

    Edited to add:
    Being in diagnostic imaging also has a little less patient care than nursing. Our focus is getting good images to look for disease and not as much on the patient as a whole. Of course, we still use critical thinking and need to consider the person as a whole, but the approach is a little different.
  14. by   CelticGoddess
    Quote from bluestar776
    For nursing there seems to be such a variety to places to work. I feel certain units may suit me better.. I have been in and out of the hospital with family and saw alot of the procedures and things the nurses do which I found very interesting. Physically I am strong and fit I feel like i'd be able to get to patients quickly in an emergency. But I wouldn't want a work environment where there's so much work you don't get your lunch break or a bathroom break or missing out on my family growing up.

    I heard in Ontario and X-ray tech and Nurse get similar pay but X-ray is less stressful and hours are better. But that could be a misconception.
    HOnestly , I didn't find being a rad tech less stressful than nursing. When I was a rad tech, I had to deal with a lot of crap. If the radiologist didn't read the x-rays in at timely manner, it was my fault. If the patient refused an exam, it was my fault. Machine malfunctions, my fault. Back in my day as a Rad Tech, we didn't have digital x-rays so we had to develop our films. (Thank goodness for auto processors).
    I really didn't enjoy my time as a Rad Tech. I didn't like the assembly line feel of it. I would spend 5 to 10 minutes with the patient and they were off.

    I honestly prefer nursing. I can spend time getting to know my patients (even if I am aways running around like a chicken with my head cut off). I prefer the whole nursing process.

    My husband is a CT tech and he loves it. He's been a CT tech for 20 years (rad tech for 25yrs). He is computer savvy (he is a PACS super user), and will be the 3D CT tech when they set that up. He trains new techs, trouble shoots when the scanner goes down, etc. He's in his element (He was originally an engineer major).

    Oh, and as far as hours being better: Depends on where you are. My husband only works during the week. However, x-ray is 24/7 so it still has to be staffed nights, weekends, holidays. And some facilities are going 12s for rad techs also.

close