The main role of a radiology nurse is to care for patients who are in need of radiology treatments. These include a range of diagnostic imaging procedures, for example x-rays, CT scans, and radiation therapy. Like most other professionals in the nursing industry, radiology nurses are required to assess patients both prior to and after the treatment. Radiology nurses also help patients to understand more about the treatment that they need, for example by explaining how the treatment works and what to expect in terms of pain or discomfort, if any. Radiology nurses are also sometimes required to use radiology machines and read diagnostic images. If you are interested in pursuing this career, we’ve detailed how to get there.
Go to Nursing School
Before you can become a radiology nurse, it’s essential to go to nursing school to get a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Although lesser qualifications, such as an associate of science in nursing are sometimes accepted, most employers prefer applicants with a bachelor’s degree so opting for this will give you an edge when applying for jobs. Once you have graduated, you will go on to become a registered nurse (RN). You can do this at a range of nursing schools around the U.S., some of which even offer the opportunity to take an online nursing program, such as Arizona State University.
Get Radiology Experience
In order to be able to go on to qualify as a certified radiology nurse, you will need to get plenty of experience in the radiology department. Your college or online nursing degree course will most likely require you to spend time working full-time, usually in the form of a nursing placement at a hospital or other care facility. When applying for work experience positions, it’s a good idea to specifically ask for experience in the radiology department. You will need to have had at least two thousand hours’ worth of experience in radiology in order to take the course to become a certified radiology nurse. Along with this, it’s also ideal to take an extra module or additional qualification in radiology whilst doing your bachelor’s degree.
Qualify as a Radiology Nurse
Once you have completed a bachelor’s degree and gained work experience and extra training in the radiology department, you will then be able to apply to study for radiology certification, which is offered by the Association for Radiologic & Imaging Nursing. Since the training to become a certified radiology nurse is very hands-on, with the majority taking part on the job, it can often be done as part of a work placement or even with your employer at a radiology center or hospital. Because of this, nurses who want to become qualified as a radiology nurse can choose to either go back to college or find an employer who will train them.
Radiology nursing is one of the many different branches within this career path which can offer nurses a lucrative opportunity for progression and development. Qualifying as a radiology nurse often means more responsibility, seniority and pay.