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Questions for Rad nurses!


Specializes in ED, Pedi Vasc access, Paramedic serving 6 towns.

Hi all,

I have an upcoming interview for a position as a Radiology RN. I have been an ER RN for the past 7 years, so I have experience with conscious sedation and critical care ,so I am not afraid of that stuff. I know it will take some learning to get used to the procedures and being able to talk to the patient with regards to education. I did do a couple of clinical days in interventional radiology as new nurse, but that was 7 years ago, although I do remember it vaguely. I like the idea of having one patient at a time, although I know it can be a very fast paced environment.

Are there any ER RNs that have moved on to become radiology RN that can share their perspective?

What questions should I ask?

Does your back get used to wearing the lead over time?

Any information is helpful. Thank you!



Has 5 years experience.

How did everything work out? I've been in IR for about 2 years--its a really cool place to work. Yes, you get used to the lead, just use anti-fatigue mats if possible. If not, move around every few minutes. The most important quality to me for an IR nurse is being assertive, something as an ER nurse you should be very comfortable with. I've had quite a few pool nurses from the ER come through and they are the best adapters--always ready to jump in and try! It sounds like you have a great background and should do well.

Best wishes!!!

AnnieOaklyRN, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ED, Pedi Vasc access, Paramedic serving 6 towns.

Hi Julie,

Thank you for the response. I am just waiting to hear from the hospital, all my references are in... so it is just a matter of waiting to see if I got the job or not!



Specializes in Pain managment. Has 4 years experience.

IR is fun, I mainly circulate cases or monitor. Circulating requires grabbing supplies and performing conscious sedation. My IR lab is also a Cath Lab so I can do both. My hours are 730-330 M-f with 14 days of call a month. Its pretty easy and less stressful than ICU/ER. I live in the DFW area and work at a small community hospital. I hope this helps


Specializes in Emergency Department/Radiology. Has 33 years experience.

I was an ER nurse for 28 years before becoming the only and first Radiology Nurse at the hospital I was working at, at that time. I learned a lot, the staff in radiology learned a lot about nursing as well. It was once described very well by a CT technologist who said you are like the translator, you speak nurse and radiology and you can help us understand and help the nursing staff understanding about the procedures and scans etc.

Now I work in a teaching hospital with 26 other radiology nurses just for IR procedures and it is interesting most days, yes I love only having one patient at a time, and yes there is a lot about autonomy and dependence that the medical staff has in you. We always say, Radiologists dont do sick people.

As far as the lead goes, if there is an option, opt for the newer lighter versions, it gets hard on call when you are doing case after case all by yourself for hours at a time.

Good luck


Specializes in Cath lab, acute, community. Has 11 years experience.

Hey there! I worked in ED for 3 years prior to becoming an RN in the cardiac cath lab (CCL). The skills that I gained in ED (fast moving, fast thinking, rush rush rush get it done get it done, communication etc) were great. The CCL is fast paced, the sooner you get stuff done the sooner you get out, it can be frustrating, it can go from boring to intense in one second, and it's also fascinating. So fascinating! Let yourself become immersed in it, and let yourself love it, and you will have a wonderful job.

Questions that I would ask would be "how much OT does the team do?" and the reason it is often case lists, and you just do it until you are done. So it depends on how many nurses to how much overtime. Its a great way to make money. Also, on call? How does that work? Will you be scrubbing, scouting and recovering, or what would be your role? Will you have a primary "preceptor" to take you through the skills?

As for the back - this is a really really good question, and it's critical you listen to this because I really wish I had. You need to be fit (not fat), strong core muscles (the belly ones), and to listen to the protocols (ie lead on for one hour, then lead off for 10 minutes). Don't move a patient with lead on, don't bend or lift with lead on unless it is critically essential. Do not exert yourself. If something goes "ouch", take the lead off, stretch. I hurt my back about 6 months in, and it's permanently harmed now but I love the CCL, so I just have that burden to bare. Ask the place if they have physios come in for sessions (I think most would). Your back and feet do you get used to the lead, I don't feel it much anymore. Initially when I scrubbed with lead I was like "omg how will I tolerate this!" but it just dissapeared. Must be the guns and muscles I developed ;)

I have not found anywhere else that a great community has built around me, with me in it, than the CCL. Even the ED didn't have the same "team spirit". It gets tough and frustrating, but you can become really really close friends with everyone as you watch a case, and watch a patient together. Good luck!