What Does a Radiology Nurse Do?
Radiology nurses care for patients who are in the process of undergoing treatment involving various forms of radiation imaging. These include ultrasonography, magnetic resonance, or radiation oncology. Radiology nurses have to keep up to date on the latest in radiology technology so that they can explain to their patients exactly how radiology procedures work. The radiology nurse assists the radiologist in preparing patients for procedures like CAT scans and MRIs. Nurses prepare patients by easing their worries, administering sedatives, inserting IVs, and monitoring patients while undergoing such procedures. Sometimes nurses also ensure that patients are physically and emotionally fit to undergo imaging procedures, which can be harmful for certain persons. Radiology nurses also help doctors interpret and analyze test results. The field or radiology nursing is an exciting one and best suited for those who have a deep interest in medical imaging technology. Radiology nurses are also sometimes referred to as cardiac catheterization lab nurses.
How Can I Become a Radiology Nurse?
In order to become a radiology nurse, you must first enroll in an accredited, degree-granting program. Typically, aspiring radiology nurses pursue either a two-year associate’s degree through a community college, or they can also go for the four-year bachelor’s degree in nursing, which is ideal for those who want to advance quickly in their chosen field. Most nursing schools provide courses for those students who want to explore radiology more in-depth. Once a student graduates, she should be prepared to take an exam in order to become a registered nurse (RN). An RN can then find entry-level employment in radiology departments of hospitals and clinics. Once an RN gains a few years of experience working specifically with radiology, she can take an additional certification exam to become a Certified Radiology Nurse (CRN). Having this additional certification enables radiology nurses to expand the scope of their tasks, thereby giving them more freedom to take on different challenges.
What Is the Career and Salary Outlook for a Radiology Nurse?
The employment prospects for radiology nurses are excellent. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment of RNs in general is expected to grow by about twenty-two percent from 2008 to 2018. This rate of growth is much faster than the average rate of growth for all occupations. As technology advances, radiology nurses can expect to become in even higher demand. The average salary of a radiology nurse varies from state to state and city to city, but most nurses can expect to earn around $56,000, according to SimplyHired.com. According to iHire.com, entry-level salary for radiology nurses is a little over $41,000, and more experienced radiology nurses can earn up to $75,000 a year. If you decide to go into the very exciting field of radiology nursing, you can be assured that you will have secure job prospects for several years and many opportunities for advancement.