What Do Endoscopy Nurses Do?

Posted by Shanna Shafer on Apr 28, 2015 11:56:00 AM

What Do Endoscopy Nurses Do

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Background

Gastrointestinal disorders are more common now than ever before, leading to an uptick in demand for nurses who are specially trained to work in the treatment of these diseases. As an endoscopy nurse, you will be helping patients by assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of many different gastrointestinal, respiratory and other medical conditions. If you've ever wanted to become an endoscopy nurse, learn more about this job title now. You can also check out our free Nurse Salary Guide to see what endoscopy nurses earn!

Roles/Other Potential Roles

If you get training as an endoscopy nurse, you can take on a wide number of roles. Some endoscopy nurses work in a clinical setting, seeing patients for routine appointments and pre-surgical appointments. You may also work in a surgical setting, which may involve working with doctors during scheduled or emergency surgeries. Endoscopy nurses are also crucial members of the acute care team, assisting with emergency endoscopy procedures at the bedside in the ICU and other specialty units.

Responsibilities/Demands of the Job

To work in this job, you need to exercise your extensive knowledge of gastroenterology, respiratory conditions and general nursing care and procedures. You may have to work with many different conditions, including GI bleeding, dyspepsia, dysphagia, reflux, and abdominal pain. You may assist in endoscopies and other procedures that go along with enterology, depending on the needs of your supervising doctor and his or her patients.

As an endoscopy nurse, you will become an expert at preparing, providing and maintaining endoscopy equipment such as bronchoscopes, GI scopes and the visual aids that allow for images to be seen during the procedure. You will also be responsible for monitoring patient status during routine and emergent procedures, providing mechanical ventilation when needed, administering medications and assisting patients post procedure. 

Specialties

As endoscopy nursing is a specialty in and of itself, there are few areas for specialty training within this field. Most of the specialized training you will get will come from ‘on the job’ experiences and teaching.  You may need to keep up on your education with continuing education or specialty courses throughout the duration of your career, and it is wise to find other nurses in this specialty with whom you can network.

Qualifications

Before you can begin a career as an endoscopy nurse, you must get your Associate's degree or Bachelor's degree in nursing. After you complete your degree, you can get your nursing license via your state's Board of Nursing. Endoscopy nurses can also benefit from advanced training in endoscopy and gastroenterology. You will likely also need to be certified in Advanced Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support procedures.

Education

You may be able to get started in this specialty with an Associate's degree in nursing. However, many employers require a Bachelor's degree for those who want to work in the endoscopy unit, due to the responsibilities inherent with this role. After you complete your Bachelor's degree, you may also need specialized education or courses in endoscopy. Want to learn more about getting the education needed to become an endoscopy nurse? Take a look at our school listings to take the first step in your education.

Licensing/Certification

You must pass the NCLEX-RN after completing your nursing degree. This is a nationally-required nursing exam. Upon passing the NCLEX-RN and meeting the application requirements of your state's Board of Nursing, you can get a registered nursing license.

Salary Range

In a nursing specialty like endoscopy nursing, you may be able to earn a fairly competitive salary. However, for more specific information on what endoscopy nurses earn, we recommend picking up a copy of our Nurse Salary Guide. You can find out what endoscopy nurses earn compared to other nursing specialties and make a decision about whether this route is for you.

Job Outlook for 2014 and Beyond

The job outlook is very positive for registered nurses across all specialties. The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 19% increase in RN job openings from 2012 to 2022, outpacing the average job growth by 8%. This may lead to quite a few career opportunities when you complete your education.

Career Path

Many specialty clinics and wings require you to have some experience as a nurse before you can apply for a specialty position. You may need to work in the emergency room or in a general clinic before you can apply for an endoscopy nursing position.

Associations and Organizations

Publications

If you're ready to become an endoscopy nurse and help those with gastroenterological issues, you may want to get our Nurse Salary Guide and delve more into this career option. Then you can contact nursing schools in your area to prepare for a new career.

Topics: Career in Nursing