OR nurses operating C-arm Fluoro?

  1. Any OR nurses operate the C-arm? Every State Practice Act I can find online says it's a Rad Techs job and require them to be licensed. I've been told on many occasions I just make the surgeon mad with delays for x-ray (I don't care...and still have my license ).

    I was just curios what the standard of care was out in the rest of the community. I've read many case studies on pt's with long term non-healing wounds post fluoro and was wondering if the rest of the nurses were as concerned as I am about burning a hole through a pt.
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    About peddler

    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 22; Likes: 3
    Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience in ICU,ER,OR


  3. by   IsseyM
    Thats funny that you posted this because i learned today that an RN can NOT operate fluoro. Surgeons will ask an RN to do this and if they don't they get really upset but its not within the RN's scope of practice and you can and will lose your license.
  4. by   elcue
    We did this at my last job. Technically, we set up and turned on the machines, moved them around, etc. The surgeon hit the pedal to activate the machine. We were NOT to hit the pedal, and were told that as long as the surgeon is hitting the pedal we were not taking X-rays and were legally OK. We were also told this is safe because we were not ever making exposure settings on the machines; they were preset and could not be altered, so we couldn't do any harm. The OR owned the machines and the Xray techs didn't even know how to use them...It took a very long time for me (and every newhire)to adjust to that, but eventually it was a non-issue.
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Absolutely NOT.
  6. by   jer_sd
    Depends on state law. In cose to 13 states radiologic technologists are not certified or licensed by the state so the administration of ionizing radiiation is not a controlled act and anyone can do it (scary). In other states it may not be phrohibited by the nurse practice act but the legislation regulating radiologic technologists may phrohibit the nurse taking x-rays so you need to check both parts of the law.

    Again if all you do is move the equipment into the room, plug it in, and give the pedal to the MD you are not taking x-rays. How ever if you position the patient or the c-arm then it enters a gray zone even if you dont push the button.
  7. by   CuttingEdgeRN
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    Absolutely NOT.
  8. by   JLynnOR
    I've worked in two states in which our OR owned mini C-arm machines run by the doctor. The nurses don't run the machine--as others have said, we just turn it on, get it ready to go, and print the pics at the end.

    For those of you who also do this, are your doctor-taken images stored in an imaging library? We'd tried to have this happen for our mini C-arm images and there was a ruckus about the fact that they have to have a radiology dictation? Curious.
  9. by   elcue
    Our surgeons run the mini C-arms. They print and take images with them at the end of the case. Some leave a print in the chart and take one for the office. Others take one print and store it in either the hospital chart or their own office files. We do not have an image library.

    Do you wear lead when using the mini? We don't - only when using the big one. This has been the case at my last 2 jobs. Curious what others do. Thanks
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I wear lead, since i'm usually standing right next to the machine when it goes off. I'd eventually like to have children someday, i don't want to take even the slightest risk.