Nurses caring for patients in radiology departments are a relatively recent phenomenon. Only a few
fragmented studies appear in the literature on the interprofessional nursing domain in these departments.
This article attempts to give a more holistic picture of nurses’ experiences of patient care related to diagnostic
imaging and interprofessional interactions and relations with radiographers and radiologists. Focus groups
were held, among others, with nurses at a district hospital and an adjacent academic hospital in South Africa.
Participants were questioned about their experiences regarding referrals for diagnostic imaging, their professional
roles, views on the roles of other professions, multidisciplinary interaction, and radiation awareness.
Three main themes emerged, namely (1) patient care and communication include the subthemes of “being
there” for patients and communicating with them; (2) scope of professional practice is divided into activities
around the request form, preparation for diagnostic imaging, and further education needs; (3) interprofessional
interactions relate to hierarchical and power relations and interprofessional communication and conflict.
The study illustrates the collaborative and mediating roles of nurses at various points in the health
system, from referral of patients for diagnostic imaging investigations to discharge from the health care facility.
More studies are needed on interprofessional relations among radiographers, radiologists, and nurses,
and nurses’ ability to make appropriate judgments with regard to the completion and interpretation of request
forms and preparing patients for specialized investigations.