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Endoscopy Nurse: Job Duties, Pay, and Benefits

Career News September 27, 2013

A specialist practice area, in which those in the field deal with patients that suffer from suspected gastrointestinal problems, is called gastroenterology, and this is the field in which an endoscopy nurse works. In fact, many times, an endoscopy nurse is called a GI (gastroenterology) nurse because of their work in that field. Further, they are responsible for caring for patients that are preparing for therapeutic or diagnostic treatments.

Endoscopy Nurse Duties and Responsibilities

Initiating nursing strategies to meet a patient’s healthcare needs, after an assessment has been completed, is essentially what endoscopic nurses are responsible for. Assisting the physician with the surgery where required, handing them any surgical implements they may need, and overall assisting them with conducting the gastrointestinal procedure is what an endoscopy nurse typically does.

Furthermore, GI nurses sometimes assist surgeons in the operating theater with the use of machinery and is also often assigned to set up medical equipment before any surgical procedures take place. The nurse is also responsible for reporting any technical faults in agreement with hospital guidelines when it comes to equipment.

GI nurses must also clean and maintain all equipment prior to any surgeries. Additionally, GI nurses must be proficient in utilizing basic IT systems to analyze and record data from patients.

Duties Related to Patient Care

Essentially, being skill in communicating medical terminology in a way that patients and their families understand, as well as being compassionate to patient needs is the responsibility of endoscopic nurses.
More specifically, GI nurses create reports of all results from endoscopic procedures and must accurately record patients’ conditions throughout the process. Moreover, when a patient cannot ingest food or keep it down once it is ingested, endoscopic nurses must administer IV (intravenous) drips.

Offering emotional support and fielding questions, patients or families may have regarding their condition or any treatment, is the crucial role endoscopic nurses play as a patient advocate. As indicated on the Staff Nurse website, the dignity and safety of all patients must be protected during surgical procedures by the endoscopic nurse on duty.

Variations on Endoscopy Nurse Duties and Responsibilities

According to the Mayo Clinic, work experience, relevant licensing, and education, all essentially determine the exact functions that an endoscopic nurse performs. Essential duties and responsibilities vary from cleaning duties and basic equipment maintenance to advanced specialist roles, assisting with complex endoscopic procedures and conducting patient screening. Endoscopic nurses are expected to work closely with the whole GI surgery team, consult relevant specialists where required, and take a multidisciplinary approach to care giving.

Endoscopy Nurse Certification

The Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates (SGNA) is the association from which endoscopic nurses gain certification. To successfully pass the board examination, candidates are required to have thorough knowledge of clinical nursing standards and drug administration procedures.

Functions of the stomach, intestinal tracts, and the pancreas are the physiological knowledge areas that are covered in the assessment. Moreover, candidates should fully understand emergency treatment methods and infection control procedures.

Endoscopy Nurse Salary Expectations

According to Simply Hired, as of June 2010, $52,000 annually is the average salary for an endoscopic nurse. However, geography plays a big part in the average salary an endoscopic nurse earns. Depending on where one works, according to Salary Expert, the wage range can vary enormously.

An endoscopic nurse in Charlotte, NC earns the least on average at about $58,000, while a nurse in Boston, MA earns an average of $85,000 annually. Those interested in becoming an endoscopic nurse should find out the average salary of the career, in the city in which they live, to get a more accurate number.

The great thing about the nursing field is that their benefit packages are fantastic. In addition to health insurance, nurses in this field can often expect a full 401k, great PTO accumulation, vacation, sick leave, and sometimes even stock options depending on their employer.

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