Gastroenterology nurses are also referred to as endoscopy nurses. These nurses work with physicians in an effort to treat and diagnose patients with conditions that affect the gastrointestinal tract and the digestive system.
These types of conditions include abdominal pains, cancer, bleeding and reflux. Other types of conditions that are a regular part of this specialization in nursing include the removal of foreign bodies, dyspepsia, dysphagia, ulcers and carcinoma.
What Should I Expect Working As A Gastroenterology Nurse?
This type of nursing career allows you to work in a wide variety of work settings, some of which include private medical offices, outpatient clinics and acute care hospitals. These nurses must also educate their patients on the medical conditions they have and suggest a variety of ways they can manage the symptoms they experience in their everyday lives. Because of this, nurses in this specialty must be good at communicating as they will need to do so on a daily basis with physicians, home care specialists, nutritionists, families and patients. In addition to being great communicators, gastroenterology nurses must also be familiar with technology such as computerized tomography scans, x-rays and exploratory endoscopic procedures.
When a gastroenterology, or endoscopic, nurse works with a patient, the usual procedures that deal with technology include introducing endoscopes through the anus or the mouth so that the physician has a look inside the intestines, the stomach and the esophagus. During the procedures performed in endoscopy, the doctor is able to obtain content samples of these organs in order to treat minor problems. In this nursing occupation, a nurse may work with newborns, adults, adolescents and children and this is all dependent on the specific setting the nurse chooses to work in.
What Is The Job Outlook For Gastroenterology Nursing?
The type of patients that a gastroenterology nurse works with can widely range from those who are relatively healthy to those who have a chronic illness or who may be critically ill. According to statistics from the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, a good number of these types of nurses enter the field by working in a hospital setting and caring for a defined population of patients in critical care, pediatric or medical-surgical units. Once a nurse is experienced in one area, this provides them with a solid knowledge base as well as the opportunity to develop time management skills, critical thinking skills and practice with various parts of technical skill requirements.
What Are The Educational Requirements For Gastroenterology Nursing?
In order to become a gastroenterology nurse, you must first become a registered nurse. In order to do this, you must earn either an associate’s degree in nursing or a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Various nursing programs are available, some of which provide you with the option of online RN programs and other online nursing programs. Once you have completed the required education, you may then proceed with taking the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). This examination will provide you with licensure as an RN that is state specific.
In addition to obtaining the licensure as a registered nurse, the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates (SGNA) provides a comprehensive curriculum for this specialty to ensure that you are fully prepared for entering the field. The SGNA also provides you with self-study options, such as that of a DVD library, so you can get a visual on GI procedures and further your education. Additionally, the American Nurses Credentialing Center approves the SGNA for accreditation to provide current nurses in this subfield with continuing education.
What Is The Average Salary For A Gastroenterology Nurse?
In order to become certified, you must go through the American Board of Certification for Gastroenterology Nurses (ABCGN). Certification as a gastroenterology or endoscopy nurse is generally not a requirement. Although this is the case, it demonstrates that you have a certain level of competency in your chosen field. Additionally, the ABCGN has reported that those who are credentialed earn an average of $9,200 more than those who are not certified on an annual basis.
- Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates: This links to the official site of the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates. On this site you will find the member center, information on education and educational resources, events and issues in the industry.
- American Nurses Association: This is the official site for the American Nurses Association, which is named the largest nursing organization in the United States. On this site, you will find a range of information on careers and credentialing, professional nursing practice, health care policy, government affairs and nursing ethics.
- Registered Nurses: This links to in-depth information that describes the complete career of a registered nurse. This is the official entry into the Occupational Outlook Handbook as put together by the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the United States Department of Labor. On this site, you will find information ranging from the nature of work as a registered nurse to the annual reported wages.
- Gastroenterology Nursing: This link provides you with access to subscribe to the official journal of the Canadian Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates and the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, Inc.
- Society of International Gastroenterological Nurses and Endoscopy Associates: This site provides you with access to a wide range of professionals in your field. You will find invaluable resources on this site as well as the opportunity to join the Society of International Gastroenterology Nurses and Endoscopy Associates (SIGNEA) as a member.
- American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: Find information, education and support on this website. This link also provides you with the opportunity to join as a member.
- American Gastroenterological Association: This link to the American Gastroenterological Association is the link to the GI community’s trusted source. Here you will find information on advocacy and regulation, journals and publications, research and education.
- EndoNurse: This is the official site of the EndoNurse magazine where you find the latest information in this field of nursing.
- Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America: This site provides you with information on living with IBD, clinical trial information, locating physicians, research and a variety of disease information.
- Digestive Disease National Coalition: This advocacy organization provides you with information and insider links to voluntary and professional societies that are concerned with digestive disease.
- International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: This site provides you with resources on information relating to digestive health, support and assistance from this non-profit organization.