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Jeffrey Balser, M.D., Ph.D.

Radiology nurses open new chapter

BY: KATHY RIVERS

4/20/2007 - Two nurses from Vanderbilt's Department of Radiology recently founded the Mid South Chapter of the American Radiological Nurses Association.

Elaine Atteberry, M.S.N., R.N., and Debra Rassel, R.N., wanted to build a network in this region to develop consistent guidelines, share best practices and promote high quality patient care among Radiology nurses.

There is a national Radiology nursing organization, which recently celebrated its 25th year anniversary, but only 13 states or regions that have chapters.

“Radiology nursing is cool, exciting and a challenge” said Elaine Atteberry. “Most of us are drawn to this field because we can serve as a specialty practitioner utilizing nursing skills gathered through our years of professional experience.”

Atteberry and Rassel wanted to share these experiences with other colleagues as well as to gain awareness of Radiology nursing as a specialty. Working in a busy department that handles nearly 500,000 procedures each year gave them the credibility and enthusiasm to form the local group.

”We wanted to start our own chapter to network, share information and facilitate practice improvement,” said Rassel.

“We have a large Radiology department and we can share some of our insights with our colleagues, especially those in rural areas that often have only one radiology nurse helping to serve an entire community.”

At the national organizational meetings, these individuals are referred to as Lone Rangers.

“I think our shared governance and Magnet Recognition process made us want to create a collaborative resource for radiology nurses throughout our area,” said Atteberry.

Radiology nursing has recently been recognized by the American Medical Association and American Nurses Association as a nursing specialty.

The local chapter has 30 members in Kentucky and Tennessee and meets quarterly.

Atteberry and Rassel hope to grow the organization to more than 100 members by next year.

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