What Are Radiology Nurses?
Radiology nurses are professionals who are trained to help patients undergoing diagnostic radiation procedures. These include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasounds, and radiation therapy used in oncology diagnosis and treatment. These nurses serve a variety of purposes within a hospital. They prepare patients for the appropriate procedure, and oversee administration of treatment as well. They also conduct examinations to evaluate patient health post-procedure, and may assist a radiologist in providing treatment. In addition to this, radiology nurses act as a source of information for patients and their families. They inform patients regarding the procedure being administered, and advise them and their families on how to care for the patient after getting discharged from the hospital.
How To Become A Radiology Nurse
If you want to enter this profession, you will need to complete a nursing program to learn the skills needed in the field. You will then have to obtain licensure as a registered nurse (RN). This may be done in a couple of ways. One way is to enroll in an associate's degree nursing program. This is a two year program which will provide you with the fundamental training required to enter your field, and with a focus on preparing you for the licensure examination at the end of the program. Another option is to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. This is a four year program which offers a more intense curriculum. Students will receive the training necessary for nursing, but will also be required to take courses in other fields. These may include sociology, mathematics, humanities, and psychology. The aim is to sharpen students' critical thinking and help make them more empathic towards patients.
Both the associate and bachelor's degree programs balance class-based lectures and field work to give students appropriate theoretical and practical experience. At the end of your program, you will be required to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). This will allow you to practice your profession as a registered nurse within the US. Those aspiring to become a radiology nurse should then enter a hospital program which offers training and experience in this area. The next step in the process is to obtain certification as a Certified Radiology Nurse (CRN) from the American Association of Radiology Nurses. Your education and prior work experience may satisfy the pre-requisites for taking the exam. A written and practical exam will test your competency in the field. The certification may help you to assume more responsibility in the workplace as well.
Is This All it Takes?
Simply completing the required training is not enough for radiology nurses. Because the field of medicine is rapidly evolving, it is important to take continuing education courses to stay current on these advances.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry is the third-fastest growing industry, and has a projected growth of 26% between 2010 and 2020. As a result, the opportunities for individuals with proper experience in this field will be in high demand.