Interventional radiology nursery: why should we be part of the team?

Interventional radiology nurses play a fundamental role, both in the development of procedures and in patient care. The specialisation of the work teams implies technical training and preparation to offer the patient the best possible conditions. This is not feasible if the nursing teams are not fixed, with their own functions and recognised within the units and the hospital.

By Ana Gutiérrez Siles
IR Nurse, Hospital Universitario Parc Taulí de Sabadell, Cataluña, Spain


Interventional radiology nurses are a very important pillar of a multidisciplinary team. In recent years, IR nurses have had to increase their knowledge, in a self-taught manner, as a consequence of the increased complexity of the procedures.

We have moved from a perioperative nursing role to nurses providing differentiated and specialised care throughout the entire treatment process, such as pre-, intra- and post-procedure care, providing patient safety and well-being.


There are many reasons why nurses in our units should be specialised, although we are not yet recognised, as such:

- We are competent in radiological protection, holding the title of Radiodiagnostic Facility Operator.
- We are familiar with the different imaging techniques, with extensive knowledge of which procedures should be performed and how.
- We have extensive knowledge of vascular and non-vascular anatomy and pathophysiology.
- The technology of percutaneous interventional radiology procedures has increased in number and complexity. In fact, it is associated with an increasing use of specific materials in each procedure, some of them also associated with the operation of specific machines. Interventional radiology nurses have a wide knowledge of these resources and are able to prepare them properly, improving the time of the procedures in the laboratory and increasing patient safety.

- We know how to act in case of haemodynamic complications by performing the relevant manoeuvres, such as basic and advanced cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
- We have the pharmacological and anaesthetic expertise to assist the anaesthetist during induction of general anaesthesia or sedation, known as anaesthetic nursing training.
- Most importantly, we have our portfolio of services, which includes nursing consultations and purely nursing procedures, such as insertion of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) and port PICCs.

As it can be seen, the need for a nursing speciality in this area should be a priority.


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