In Derriford we have a mix of highly specialised Vascular and Neuro Radiologists who are all involved in not only the diagnosis but the treatment of many patient conditions. Although the procedures they perform are described as “minimally invasive”, they can have huge impacts on patients. Day to day work involves lots of patient contact and teamwork with IR Nurses and Radiographers. Often patient treatment involves other specialities such as; oncology, vascular, gastro and cardio-thoracic’s- with specialist knowledge from Interventionalists being required for MDTs.
No two days are the same for our Radiologists, who perform many procedures from CT/US guided biopsies/drainages to emergency procedures like embolisations and Stroke Thrombectomy. As well as work within the IR suites, they are heavily involved with the training of Registrar's, teaching at the Radiology Academy whilst contributing to diagnostic reporting.
As a member of the IR team, the Interventional Radiographer works alongside Interventional Radiologists and Nurses. The Radiographer assists with diagnostic angiographic procedures as well as complex vascular and nonvascular interventional and therapeutic procedures. Radiographers must have a combination of technical, radiologic and clinical skills.
IR Radiographers perform many duties during procedures, they are responsible for positioning and imaging patients, resolving equipment issues, and demonstrating knowledge of human anatomy, radiation safety, interventional supplies, and equipment operation.
At Derriford our Radiographers can have additional training and responsibilities;
- IV Cannulation
- U/S Cannulation
- Scrubbing for IR Procedures
- Shunt Screen Reporting
- Currently developing other skill sets and areas for Advanced Clinical Practice
- Radiographer Advanced Clinical Practice -we currently have a Radiographer on the Advanced Clinical Practice MSc at the University of Exeter
- Our Radiographers have the chance to guest lecture at Plymouth and Exeter University
- Completion of a PG Certification in Interventional Radiology and Practice
- Significant involvement with Service Improvement projects
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Nurses in IR work closely with the Consultants and Radiographers to care for patients through their journey in the IR department. The role is very different from ward nursing and encompasses many different tasks. These roles involve ensuring patients are prepared and ready for their procedure including ensuring appropriate blood results and/or antibiotics prescriptions. IR nurses play a vital role in the direct delivery of IR procedures by acting as scrub nurses and directly assisting the Consultant. They also administer sedation and monitor patients throughout procedures under the supervision of the Consultant. Post procedure, IR nurses recover patients and/or care for them in IR until they can be transferred back to the ward.
Working in the IR Suite is challenging and varied and no two days are the same, with a huge variety of procedures and multiple roles which need to be undertaken. The IR department at Derriford has expanded considerably over the past few years and as it develops there will be ongoing opportunities for nurses. The department fully encourages and supports staff to widen their scope of practice with continuous professional development.
- IV Cannulation
- Catheter training
- ANTT Training
- Post Graduate Education
The HCA is an integral part of the multi-disciplinary team in providing care to patients who attend for diagnostic or therapeutic treatments. The unique and varied nature of the speciality means that there is always something new and interesting to learn. Due to the diversity of patients who attend for treatment, Radiology has the ability to care for a wide range of patients of all ages, from Emergency, Medical, Surgical and Oncology specialities.
The HCA’s in our team have described the work as much more “clinical based than ward working” and are often involved in day case care, setting up the sterile trolley, monitoring of patients during procedures and scrubbing.
IR HCA’s are given extra opportunities to increase their skill set, such as;
- Catheter Training
- ANTT (Aseptic Non Touch Technique) Training
- IV Cannulation