Radiology nursing a challenging, rewarding speciality

Posted on May 2013

Radiology nursing is a “dynamic specialty that combines cutting-edge technology with the art and science of nursing”. The radiology nurse’s role requires a high level of knowledge, expertise and independence because the department provides services to a wide variety of patients with diverse needs. Radiology nurses routinely start or check peripheral IVs, assess infusaports, administer medications, monitor vital signs, and help patients with their personal needs.

The nurse also informs the technologist or radiologist of any patient needs and performs specialized nursing duties. Radiology departments call on nurses to care for patients transported from intensive care, patients in emergency situations and pediatric patients and others needing sedation.

Teaching is another duty radiology nurses assume, instructing patients and their families, students, technologists, other nurses, radiologists and physicians about patient care. They also teach the radiology staff new nursing policies and national standards as such changes occur.

Radiology nurses devote a lot of time to quality improvement and infection control programs: collecting data, keeping records and reporting results. Because radiology nursing is relatively new, the nurse may be called upon to help write patient care policies, design flow sheets or patient instruction sheets and develop protocols or care plans.

Radiology nurses utilize skills employed in many other nursing specialties and incorporate them in the radiology setting. They must provide quality nursing care to a large, transient group of patients of all ages, and be a spokesperson for patient care and a teacher to other radiology staff members on patient care issues.

–Michael Barsanti , R.N.

Clinical Nurse Manager

University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics