Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Examine, diagnose, and treat newborn infants.
Radiology can seem like a whole different world, with huge machines running, ghostlike images to analyze, and staff people who spend all their days in dark rooms with no windows. But everyone can use the care of a Nurse, and many hospitals have started adding Nurses to radiology departments.
As a Radiology Nurse, you monitor and treat patients before, during, and after their diagnostic test. This can translate to all sorts of tasks. You may insert an IV containing chemicals that can be picked up by the x-ray machines. The Radiology Nurse may lift and position the patient’s body to set them up for an accurate scan. As a Radiology Nurse you might even be operating the technology yourself in some cases, performing diagnostic procedures such as sonograms and mammograms.
As to be expected in nursing, one of your responsibilities in any of these studies is to make sure patients are OK emotionally. Medical procedures can be scary, and radiology is no exception. For example, claustrophobic patients going into a tight MRI machine will need special attention, so you may give them a drug for conscious sedation so that they stay still during the procedure. After the MRI reading is done, you would monitor the patient for about an hour afterward, to make sure the effects of the drug have worn off.
Another typical aspect of a Nurse’s job is educating patients and their families, and this applies in radiology as well. You’ll be explaining procedures beforehand, and explaining how patients should take care of themselves afterwards. You are basically adding a little more compassion to this strange wing of the hospital, and your patients will thank you for it.