Radiology nursing: a little-known speciality in Zambia
Nursing is a healthcare profession which encompasses care of patients in different settings. One of these settings is the radiology department. A radiology nurse cares for patients undergoing imaging examinations and treatment. Currently, there are 15 radiology nurses working in Zambia against a population of 17 million. The radiology department is a complex environment that allows radiology nurses to work within a larger team of imaging professionals and a range of imaging equipment and patients. A radiology nurse integrates the knowledge and skills of nursing with that of imaging to ensure optimal and safe care of patients. This highlights the specialist nature of this role. However, nurses have little exposure to this speciality and nursing students are rarely attached to the radiology department during their clinical placements. This has kept radiology nursing a little-known and not an obvious specialisation option for nurses in Zambia. Therefore, the aim of this article is to review and discuss the role of a radiology nurse in imaging examinations as well as the opportunities and challenges for developing this nursing speciality in Zambia. It is anticipated that this article will bring awareness about radiology nursing within the nursing profession and the need to develop this important speciality.