Traveling In The Interventional Radiology Lab

Interventional Radiology is like playing on a field with no boundaries. The possibilities are endless.

When the Cardiac Cath lab does not provide the variety required by curious minds, the Interventional Radiology medical unit more than meets that description. A patient might have reduced blood flow in the liver, deep vein thrombosis in the legs or maybe only knows of vascular issues found during the latest diagnostic services.

Patient treatments in IR can utilize a bevy of imaging methods as well. An injection image guided by use of Computed Tomography (CT) or a corticosteroid injection image guided are some of the treatments interventional radiologists use to deliver patient treatment. These advanced imaging methods allow the interventional radiologist to accurately place very thin needles at very precise points.

Why Work with Phoenix?

Unlike other staffing agencies, at Phoenix we tell you the bill rate of your assignment. On top of that, we don't profit on your extra hard work (OT, CBOT, DT, On Call Hours) - we only cover our costs of Worker's Comp and taxes.

Across hospitals, no units are more different in how they operate

Team structures, equipment, procedures…the combinations are endless. At Phoenix, we make sure to ask every single question that matters. We have 5 decades of experience – in IR. Not Med/Surg, ER, Tele, not LVNs, CNAs or cancer. Not to say we won’t help our hospitals with other modalities (after all, we would never turn away an ICU referral from one of our CCL team members!), but our bread, butter, honey and spice is Cardiac Cath Lab, IR and Electrophysiology.

We know how tough the ARRT (CI) and (VI) tests are for a Radiologic Technologist. We know it’s offensive to say technician to a technologist. We know what “scrub drive” means. We can understand when an IR nurse says cath lab is boring. We can help you successfully navigate these and all the other landmines that could quickly derail that perfect assignment.

Medical travel staffing for interventional radiologist travel needs to be different to be successful. We can truthfully say that every single one of our recruiters has been in a hospital and viewed cases from start to finish. It’s a required part of our recruiter services training. And we’re not going to approach you like a used car salesman promising to be your new best friend – we’re going to approach you as the medical professionals you are…and staffing professionals we are.

We can help you successfully navigate the landmines that could quickly derail a seemingly perfect assignment. We have pre-written interview questions to give to help save your valuable time. We know to ask the Cath / IR case mix and structure of the on call teams to name the most basic few. Good staffing agencies will ask these questions for you. The other kind says “and makes sure you ask all of your questions in the interview”. It’s just that simple.

Our approach to staffing for cath lab travel is different. It needs to be different. We can truthfully say that every single one of our recruiters has been in a hospital and viewed cases from start to finish. It’s a required part of our recruiter training. We’re going to approach you as the medical professionals you are…and staffing professionals we are. We know that the beeper could go off at any time and our conversation is over in an instant – so we have a short time to open up and prove our credibility to you.

We have the best Interventional Radiologist lab relationships in the country and that leads to the best jobs and most successful placements.

We’re calling you because we know that you are uniquely qualified and we know the value of your skill set and the best place to practice, learn and grow.  Good staffing agencies will ask these questions for you.  The other kind says “and make sure you ask all of your questions in the interview”.  It’s just that simple.

Why does Phoenix MedStaff focus on
Interventional Radiologists?

We’re serving Interventional Radiologists because we provide more value...

There are plenty of medical staffing companies that recruit interventional radiology lab professionals (both nursing and allied) that we believe are doing a disservice to the work you do. We also believe that each interventional radiology lab specialist has a unique set of skills that came from your experience in different labs combined with how you were taught and learned. The combination of those experiences is as unique as a fingerprint.

When you travel with Phoenix, our value extends further than just helping pick an Interventional Radiologist nurse or tech job...

It’s about working together to make life easier, which makes healthcare better. Once you leave the hospital, you are expected to manage your credential expirations and health licensures. We believe we offer best in class employee health benefits:

  • We pay for your licensures (RN and Allied)
  • We pay for medical credential exams and renewals (RCIS, RCES, IBHRE)
  • We pay for CPR (ACLS, BLS)
  • We pay for medical items when onboarding for an assignment

Top Tier Employee Healthcare, PTO & Retirement Benefits...

  • Insurances – Medical, Dental, Vision, ST Disability, Cancer, Accident and much more!
  • 4 different HSA / FSA options to supplement
  • 401K employer match of 5% – vested and starting Day 1
  • Extra 401K 2% match after 500 hours
  • PTO – vested and starting Day 1
  • Health Advocate Network – have a medical professional review any medical bill over $400, going line by line, code by code to save you money
  • Plus, ask the Health Advocate for mental wellness or legal advice!

Certifications, Careers & SIR (Society of Interventional Radiology)

Careers in radiology can be bifurcated into two paths – special procedures and cancer-related patient care. Special Procedures entails blood flow issues throughout the body whereas cancer-related IR encompasses radiologic imaging for biopsies and other patient cancer treatment and they are very different. For example, a gunshot wound coming into the ER might need the IR team to repair blood vessels or remove a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) from a patient after they developed a blood clot in the leg after a long flight.

Outside of cancer, options for certifications for special procedures are relatively scarce. Since almost all units utilize Radiologic Technologists, the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists has the Vascular Intervention certificate for allied health members. For nursing, the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale certification is usually required.

The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) is a nonprofit, professional medical society representing more than 8,000 practicing interventional radiology physicians (including those in residency), medical students, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, radiologic technologists and paramedical professionals. The society’s core purpose and mission is to work with its members to deliver patient-centered care through image-guided therapy.

Experience Matters at Phoenix...

When people work with different companies, we hear this all too often – “Why is Rookie Ryan making the same as Pro Patty when Patty has 20 more years of experience?” Our policy does not allow this to happen. The more relevant experience you have, the more you get paid.

The types of medical equipment, the on-call structures, the department organization…that info is not posted in your typical travel interventional radiology lab tech job description but is absolutely critical to you feeling comfortable on your first day or feeling like you’re playing catch up. And these nuances are not as important when you get into floor nursing so a lot of agencies do not care. We care about the details!

Am I ready to travel in the interventional radiology lab?

What is a traveling interventional radiology lab tech? What do they do?

A radiology lab tech is an important part of the medical team who assist the interventional radiologist during a non-invasive vascular surgery or “case”. Patient treatment can entail repairing varicose veins, ruptured blood vessels, breast cancer treatment, liver or kidney biopsies or a ton of other diagnostic cancer services.

During a vascular catheterization, the interventional radiologist tech will set up their tray with the appropriate guide wires and catheters and assist the physician with instruments they may request. A very good interventional radiology lab tech will anticipate the interventional radiologist’s needs and work in rhythm. Each job will expect a travel interventional radiology lab tech to be able to jump right in. A day of orientation, some time for the individual lab details and a few questions about physician preferences and it’s time to rock and roll.

How does travel pay for interventional radiology lab jobs compare to say… my cancer practice staff salary?

RN or lab tech jobs can be very lucrative, but travel agencies generally don’t use the term “salary”.  So how do we compare?  In order to properly compare a salary position to a travel job, you need to compare what gets deposited in the bank, less any extra expenses (like a second place to live while you work in another city).

Let's break it down...

Travel interventional radiology lab technologist pay, for example, would include compensation buckets for the following:

  • Taxable wages (most commonly compared to your earning wage at a hospital)
    • Separate rates for regular hours, OT hours, CBOT, DT and On Call
  • Stipend (tax free amount used to cover living expenses)
    • Usually capped by the weekly days or hrs worked
    • 4 10-hour shift schedule will be capped at 40, while 3 12’s would be capped at 36
  • Sign on or extension bonuses

Additionally, some extra expenses to include in your comparison:

  • Extra rent
  • Food
  • Parking
  • The expense stipend is meant to cover these expenses

As a healthcare facility staff member, your lab tech salary is primarily comprised of:

  • Taxable wages
  • No tax-free stipend
  • Sign on bonuses available on occasion, but not regularly

Travel jobs are able to bestow tax benefits as some of the funds are used to cover secondary living expenses used in the course of work, however it makes rates hard to compare. The best way to compare a salary job to a travel job is converting the salary to an hourly rate and “grossing up” the stipend to compare all-taxable hourly rates apples to apples.

  • Salary of $120,000 = ($120,000 / 52 weeks / 40 hours per week) = $57.69
  • Travel Job with $35 taxable per hour and $1000 stipend per week
    • $1000 = $1000 / 40 hours per week = $25 / hour
  • We want to know how a $25 / hour nontax rate compares to a taxable rate
    • $25 nontax = $25 / (1 – tax rate)
    • Tax rate includes payroll taxes, income taxes (state and fed)
    • $25 nontax = $25 / (1 – 25%) = $33.33
  • To properly compare the staff wage of $57.69, the travel position pays a comparable rate of $68.33 ($35.00 plus $33.33)

Travel jobs usually refer to compensation as the “Gross Weekly”. This is the amount that is all of your working hours multiplied by all of the wage rates, but does not include any additions for on call, OT, or CBOT because these are all “unscheduled” hours and you haven’t worked yet so the “Gross Weekly” estimate is just the scheduled hours (just regular hours).

When compared to a hospital job paycheck, the actual amount that gets deposited into your bank account is considerably higher due to the tax advantages of the stipend.

Where are the best IR travel jobs?

The age old question! And of course, it comes with a two part answer:

Historically, the highest rates in the country have always come from big name institutions on the East Coast (such as Johns Hopkins Medicine) and the West Coast and California in particular (Sutter Health Network).

Since Covid arrived, the rest of the markets have caught up and have made geographic boundaries obsolete.  Now the best rates are usually in places with the most specialized skill set required and base need.  The increase in stroke programs has made IR RNs and lab techs more specialized so rates have increased there as well.

The longer answer is….how can you say what the best is?  Every single interventional radiology lab tech has their own preferences for the types of cases and medical equipment, the size of the lab, the patient demographics, what they’re allowed to do (circ, monitor, scrub, run the stim, etc.).

The best advice is to travel with a company that knows the details about the labs or at the very least, will fight with you to get all the information.

How do I know which travel job is right for me?

The better question is…what can you get from the jobs that are on the job boards?  Not a whole lot when it comes down to the nitty gritty.  When it comes to IR, talking on the phone with one of our lab advisors is a big help.  Maybe this time you want to look at a job that give you a little more outdoorsy life, whereas another job lets you see family in the city.  Every single time you search interventional radiology lab jobs is an opportunity to gain new life experiences, both personal and professional.  And we’d love to be there for the ride!

Talk to an interventional radiology lab Advisor - it’s free and we love to chat lab gossip!

For days and days…the lab gossip never stops. And we love to hear about the fun stories from the pre-Covid days! If you want to know any back stories or get the real deal info on a lab, give us a call. We cherish the chance to hear about your experiences and to share ours. It’s how we get better!

Interview, interview, interview!

Take a few interviews and hone the skills. See how different medical facilities run their travel staffing programs. Each manager will ask different questions, so practice makes perfect!

So, what are you waiting for?

Join the flock and get in touch with a recruiter today!

Apply Now