Radiology  Nurses Day, also known as Radiological and Imaging Nurses Day, is celebrated annually on April 12 and was established to recognize the work that nurses do in the specialties of radiologic and imaging nursing. blue background with Radiology Nurses Day in yellow

The work of radiologic and imaging nurses is not only important for an accurate assessment and diagnosis, but it is also a skill set increasingly in demand. As radiology and imaging services such as MRI, CT scans, and ultrasounds are required for more careful diagnosis, the expertise of a radiology nurse becomes critical to accuracy. And as the technology for such imaging become ever more advanced, radiologic and imaging nurses need to remain up-to-date on using the equipment and assessing the resulting data.

The Association for Radiologic and Imaging Nursing (ARIN) leads the day honoring nurses in this specialty. Radiology nurses are an essential component of a holistic patient care team. Radiology nurses become skilled in preparing patients for and guiding them through radiology procedures. These tasks include explaining the procedure clearly, possibly administering an IV for medications or dyes, monitoring them and assisting them as they undergo a procedure. Some patients may need to ingest medications by mouth as well for monitoring digestion, for example.

Radiology nurses are able to keep patients informed of each step of a procedure and to let them know what is happening and why. For instance, an MRI’s loud banging noise and small space that can cause jitters. Because they can work with patients of all ages and with those who are coming for a routine screening or a serious illness, they need to be agile in navigating the details of medical conditions and the emotional stress patients might have.

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As they use high-end, sensitive equipment, radiology nurses must develop highly specific skills to use the machines for the best results and in the safest manner for patients and team members. They have patient safety as a goal at all times, so must be aware of everything in their surroundings that could impact how an imaging procedure could go. For instance, the magnetic power of an MRI machine requires that no loose metal be nearby and that patients have removed all jewelry or metal. Radiology nurses will ensure that they ask patients all required questions to help ensure their safety. If they are working with a patient having a series of X-rays, they will need to position the patient properly while also ensuring they are protected from any unnecessary radiation. 

To stay current, radiologic and imaging nurses will want to consider certification in their specialty. With certification, they will have the latest evidence-based practices to provide the best care possible. They can also read the Journal of Radiology Nursing and attend conferences to connect with other radiologic and imaging nurses and professionals.

Radiologic and imaging nursing is an exciting specialty and one that only promises to increase in complexity. If you are a radiologic or imaging nurse, celebrate today to honor your important work.  

Julia Quinn-Szcesuil
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