Radiology Nurses – who they are and what they do.
The field of nursing is one of the most complex profession that exists. Their functions have evolved through the years, contributing to every improvement in our health care.
One of the innovations nursing has ventured onto is the specialization in Radiology.
Radiology Nurses specialize in diagnosis, management and treatment of diseases requiring radiation use. It may involve the basic X-ray procedure to the most complex ones.
There are two proficiencies in the field of Radiology Nursing.
First, the Interventional Radiology that includes the non-invasive procedures such as Computed Tomography (CT-Scan) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Also, this form of radiology also includes minimally invasive procedures like angioplasty, angiography, biopsy and fibroid removal.
Here’s a YouTube video of Lakeridge Health’s look at Interventional Radiology:
Second, the field of Radiation Oncology that involves examinations and treatment procedures that use radiation. Primarily, oncology therapy includes the use of external beam radiation, systemic radiation and internal radiation. The primary goal of these radiation therapies is to kill cancer cells by damaging one’s DNA.
Watch Lisa Blevins, a Radiation Oncology Nurse:
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Radiation nurses carry complex responsibilities over their shoulders. Like all of the Registered Nurses, Radiation nurses, whether interventional or oncology, perform basic nursing care that utilize the nursing process.
To enumerate, radiation nurses may:
- Establish rapport with patient and family.
- Assess patient condition.
- Monitor patient’s vital signs.
- Insert Foley catheters as necessary.
- Administer medications, analgesia or sedatives, as ordered.
- Monitor patients after procedure and recovery period.
- Collaborate with other members of the health team.
- Assist in procedures.
- Provide health education regarding procedures, results or condition as appropriate.
QUALIFICATIONS: EDUCATION, LICENSE AND CERTIFICATE
There are requirements in order to practice as a Radiology Nurse.
Firs and the most basic, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Second, pass the National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in your state of jurisdiction.
Further,an RN should practice his profession. In this case, a minimum of 2 years continuous practice with no less than 2,000 total work hours is needed.
Another, the RN should also finish a 30-hour course and should pass the exam. In the event that one complies to the requisites, one can apply for a certification as a Certified Radiology Nurse (CRN), which can be applied through Radiologic Nursing Certification Board (RNCB).
In addition, one may consider career growth through advanced education. It may be a master’s or doctorate degree, or specialization courses.
On the other hand, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that the need for Registered Nurses will increase. The growth can be up to 15% from year 2016 to 2026. The rate is considerably higher than average as compared to other occupations.
Probably, the surge in demand may be due to the ageing population and not to mention, the fast turnover of nurses worldwide.
CAREER OUTLOOK AND SALARY
The website PayScale reported that Radiation Nurses earn a median annual salary of $65,356. Basically, that’s a rate of $31.22 per hour.
On the other hand, the lowest 10% of Radiation Nurses may earn as low as $44,733 while the top 10% of $89,123.
By and large, the state of jurisdiction and employer affects one’s salary. Also, it is most noteworthy that the more advanced the skills and education, the higher the salary one can have,
Registered Nurses, Radiation Nurses included, work on rotating shifts on weekdays, weekends and holidays.
Also, radiology nurses may work on hospitals, clinics and care centers with a facility for advanced imaging.
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