X-rays, ultrasounds, and chemotherapy may all be different types of tests and procedures although they all have one thing in common; they all require the use of radiology to function correctly. These tests and treatments employ nurses who are trained in the field of radiology nursing. The radiology nurse can be employed in either the diagnostic radiology field or the radiation therapy field. Both of these fields require the radiology nurse to be considered a Registered Nurse who has completed the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. This degree can be completed in an online format which will provide the nurse with the option to study for the program at her own pace, allowing her to complete the degree in as little or as much time as she needs. Additionally, the nurse in the radiology specialty will also need to complete additional continuing education courses that will provide her with a certificate in the radiology specialty.
Radiology departments in hospitals as well as specialized radiology clinics require the skills that only the radiology nurse possesses. This nurse is in charge of maintaining the radiology exposure to patients of all ages during various types of radiologic procedures. These procedures can be as simple as an X-ray or as complicated as a specialized form of MRI that also requires dye to be injected into the affected area. The nurse in the Radiology Department will keep track of the vital signs of the patient and also ensures that the patient does not receive too large of a dose of radiation exposure. The key feature of this job is when there is a child involved. When a child is required to endure a test that exposes them to radiation, they are more prone to an overdose of radiation which can create permanent problems for the child; therefore, the specialized care of the radiation nurse is required to ensure the proper dosage of radiation.
Radiation therapy has been done primarily on an in-patient basis in hospitals nationwide for a number of years; however, recently there has been an influx in radiation therapy clinics that provide patients with their required treatment without the requirement of spending their time in the hospital. The most common form of radiation therapy is chemotherapy, which is the most common form of treatment for cancer. This type of treatment is known for its debilitating side effects that create nausea to the point where the patient can no longer function. The radiology nurse who works in the radiation therapy field provides these patients with the proper placement of the treatment as well as the proper dosage of the treatment that will provide the least chance of side effects. When the side effects do occur, the nurse will also educate the patient as to what tasks he can do to minimize these symptoms so the patient can continue with what is generally the best form of treatment for his disease. During the treatment, the nurse will monitor all vital signs and the symptoms of the patient to ensure the side effects, if any, that the patient experiences do not become too severe which may require hospitalization.
The radiology nurse can work in a variety of outlets including testing and treatment of various diseases. This job requires extensive knowledge and expertise in the radiology field in order to ensure the best possible chances for success in either the treatment of the disease or the diagnosis of injuries or conditions. With the specialty of radiology in place, the nurse can enjoy additional career options as well as an above-average salary.