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Interventional Radiology Nursing

The availability of registered nursing support within interventional radiology departments is a vital component to the provision of the highest standard of patient care.  Interventional radiology nurses ensure that adequate and safe monitoring of the interventional radiology patient occurs before, during and after all procedures.
Interventional radiology is an expanding field where many patients are now able to attend for day-of procedures, thus reducing healthcare costs and time spent occupying the healthcare system.  A significant number of IR patients are emergency cases and/or inpatients that may be extremely ill at the time of their procedures.  The nature of minimally invasive vascular and non-vascular interventional radiology means that most procedures are carried out with conscious patients, who may or may not receive procedural sedation as warranted by their planned procedure, pain response, and clinical condition.  Experienced and appropriately trained interventional radiology nurses are vital members of the IR team.
Patients undergoing vascular and/or non-vascular interventional procedures require comprehensive preprocedural nursing care.  Physical and psychosocial wellbeing is assessed routinely, inclusive of medical, medication and social histories.  Interventional radiology nurses are required to assess the patient’s degree of knowledge and anxiety regarding the planned procedure, allaying fear through reassurance, explanation, patient teaching and family support.
During interventional radiology procedures, the nursing staff is a fundamental member of the team in both the circulating and scrub nurse roles.  The IR RN will assess, plan and implement the total care of the conscious or conscious-sedated patient; including monitoring vital signs and electrocardiogram rhythms.  The ability and nursing knowledge to understand trending vital signs and patient condition are crucial to the safe delivery of patient care in the interventional radiology suite.
Post procedure, the patient may be ported to a recovery, post care or an inpatient area. Care of the post procedural patient requires careful observation and planned intervention for any potential complications.  Puncture sites, airway and hemodynamic status as well as neurological status are continuously assessed and documented in the permanent patient health record.  Unstable patients are treated as per area policy under the direction of the attending interventional radiologist.  Patient comfort and adequate pain control are managed in the post procedure period by the interventional radiology nurse.  IR nurses are responsible for patients in their care until the patient has been deemed appropriate for discharge from the suite.
Interventional radiology nurses are licensed through their provincial and national associations and regulatory bodies. Following a strict code of ethics and performing their duties within the context of their professional standards and scope, always advocating for their patients and the highest level of care.
Association for Radiologic & Imaging Nursing:

Interventional Radiology Medical Radiation Technologist

Interventional Radiology Medical Radiation Technologist

Interventional Radiology (IR) is run by a team of professionals, including Interventional Radiologists, specially trained Medical Radiation Technologists (MRT), Registered Nurses and support staff.

Together we can perform a large number of procedures both diagnostic and therapeutic, based on the needs of the hospital. Our procedures involve specialities such as vascular, oncology, gastrointestinal, gynecological, urological, cardiology, neurology and dialysis. IR MRTs use their knowledge of imaging combined with the knowledge of various IR procedures, anatomy and pathology to perform safe appropriate care.

The responsibilities of an IR MRT is to perform high quality imaging involving Interventional Radiology procedures. Operation and troubleshooting of the Ultrasound machine, CT, Angio Suite, power injector, and perform post processing of imaging. They are also responsible for maintaining high standards of practice, ensuring radiation safety for patients and staff in accordance with the Healing Arts Radiation Protection Act (HARP) and its regulations, and the As Low As Reasonably Achievable principle (ALARA)

The role of the IR MRT varies based on the procedure being performed and additional skills of each individual. Roles of the MRT can range from operation of the specialised IR equipment, scrub assistant to the Radiologist, flow coordinator, charge position, and manager of the IR department. Some IR MRT’s are specially trained to perform delegated acts such a PICC line insertions.

As Interventional Radiology is a fast evolving speciality, all staff in the IR departments are required to attend conferences, lectures and presentations of new procedures, devices, and equipment.
As allied health professionals in Canada we follow our code of ethics, scope and standard of practice, and our Provincial regulatory requirements.

Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologist