Radiology nursing primarily involves diagnosis through imaging. It is one of the most heavily used departments in nursing. Nonetheless, many nurses are unfamiliar with what a radiology nurse is or does. Schools don’t have courses dedicated to radiology and clinicals tend to focus on inpatient units. Furthermore, most new graduate nurses want to be in the ICU, PCU, ED, or another inpatient unit. Unfortunately, these sought-after positions can be hard to find for new graduates because of demand, and many hospitals won’t hire new grads to some of these units.
Radiology nursing provides an alternative career path that most new graduate nurses and more experienced nurse are not familiar with.
Radiology: The Unsung Hero of the Hospital
Often radiology goes unnoticed, but every department uses it in some way. Whether you are in the emergency room evaluating for a bleed in a recent trauma patient, having a drain placed due to a fluid collection, or staging a newly found mass, you will need the radiology department. CT scans, ultrasounds, and MRIs are all covered by radiology. They can perform something as simple as a chest x-ray or as advanced as 3-D anatomic modeling to assist physicians in surgical planning.
In some hospitals, over 75% of patients have a scan or procedure in radiology during their stay. Thus, at the bedside, chances are you have interacted with a radiology nurse, even if you didn’t know it.
So What is Radiology Nursing?
Radiology nurses ensure patient safety by making detailed assessments, providing moderate sedation to patients, assisting in the recovery of patients post-procedure, injecting contrast, and assessing patients during procedures, amongst other responsibilities. This makes the radiology nurse an integral part of the care team that helps ensure safe and efficient care to all patients.
Radiology nurses can expect to work with physicians, patient care assistants, technologists, and sonographers, as well as other RN staff from different units. They care for adult and pediatric patients and generally hold advanced certifications such as ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support).
Whether you are a new graduate looking for a strategic job opportunity or an experienced nurse looking to diversify your experience, radiology nursing could be a fantastic opportunity for you.
Character and competence are two of the most sought after qualities in the workplace. Ideally, an applicant will have both, but hiring managers often find themselves forced to choose between two qualified candidates who each excel in one area only. Thus, determining the benefits of each quality and the importance they play in the role being filled is of the utmost importance.
Competence is acquired through experience and learning. Generally, more experience yields more competence, especially in nursing. Nurses with extensive experience are invaluable not only for the quality of care they provide, but also the knowledge they can impart to new staff.
Character, on the other hand, is a more intangible quality. Character involves acting with integrity, a positive attitude, and a superior work ethic, as well as being a team player. Employees with strong character can raise both the morale and productivity of the workplace.
When determining the greater need between these qualities, the purpose of the role is an important consideration. Most nursing jobs require significant teamwork, making character highly desirable. However, in more independent roles like research, competence may have greater value. That said, competence without character can lower morale, while character without competence can hinder productivity.
Thus, when hiring, nurse leaders and staff nurses should determine “what gives” between competence and character in the role they are trying to fill, with the setting and culture of the work environment being prime factors in determining the importance of these qualities.
How do you decide which is the more important trait when hiring? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
When you think of nursing, you might picture inpatient nursing. Popular TV shows portray nursing primarily in the hospital, and most new graduate nurses start their careers in an inpatient setting. In fact, more than 60% of RNs are employed in a hospital setting. But recent changes in health care are increasing opportunities for nurses in ambulatory settings.
Ambulatory nurses operate in environments ranging from the clinical setting to outpatient procedural areas. Nurses are utilized in a variety of ways and have opportunities to interact with patients by providing direct patient care, patient education, and performing special testing. In addition, they triage patients and follow up regarding test results and symptom updates. Nurses in an ambulatory setting work closely with both their physician colleagues and directly with patients and their families. Ambulatory nurses often find themselves developing long-term and fulfilling relationships with their patients.
Although ambulatory RNs don’t work directly with acutely ill patients, they are still required to have critical thinking skills and an in-depth understanding of disease processes and specialized treatments. While hospital nurses can see their patients physically, ambulatory nurses often triage their patients over the phone or online, requiring a high level of expertise. The ambulatory realm has significantly fewer resources available in comparison to the hospital setting.
Ambulatory nurses enjoy many benefits that inpatient nurses aren’t afforded, though. Most don’t work holidays, nights, weekends, or on-call, and get to devote more focused time to their patients. Enjoying both a rewarding career and a life outside of work is a major reason more and more nurses are pursuing careers in the ambulatory setting.
Learn more about ambulatory care nursing here.