For anyone interested in solving matters of the digestive system, becoming an endoscopy technician can serve as an ideal job. Endoscopy technicians work closely with doctors and nurses to solve issues relating to a patient's gastrointestinal organs. They gather patient data and are also responsible for troubleshooting any issues pertaining to endoscopes, an instrument with a camera attached to its end. They also communicate with appropriate health staff in regards to findings, maintain a breadth of knowledge regarding the various endoscopic procedures and provide the patient with physical and emotional support during the procedure.
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Endoscopy technicians assist licensed physicians and nurses in treating patients with gastrointestinal disorders. Most of the work takes place in the endoscopy unit where the tech performs direct patient care activities under physician supervision. Along with assisting with medical procedures, the tech ensures that all equipment is functioning properly before use. The endoscopy tech must be familiar with rules, standards, practices, and procedures and must hold good experience and sound judgment to accomplish goals of the procedure.
During the endoscopy procedure, an endoscope is used to give view of the persons gastrointestinal tract. The gastroenterology (GI) field is a practice in which doctors, nurses and other relevant staff provide care to patients with known or suspected gastrointestinal problems.
The endoscope, a flexible fiber-optic instrument is passed through one of openings in the body, which allows the examination of a section or the lining organs in the gastrointestinal tract. While the endoscope is inserted through a natural opening in the body, it can also be done through an incision. Endoscopy procedures offer a look into the organs and cavities within the body and the endoscope can be used to examine the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, colon, pancreas and the biliary tract. The endoscopy procedure can also be used to obtain samples for biopsies so that doctors can better examine and assess how the disease works and what needs to be done to promote the healing process. The endoscopy offers a direct looks into the GI tract and helps detect inflammation, superficial lesions, ulcerations and other abnormalities.
The Endoscopy Tech plays an important role among the gastroenterology team and provides help and support for physicians and nurses throughout endoscopy procedure by helping prepare materials, obtain specimens, and maintain a sterile field and usage of clean technique during procedures.
To work as an Endoscopy Tech, aspiring workers must hold a high school diploma backed by good grades so that they can enroll in a good school with an Associate of Science degree in Surgical Technology. Some of these schools may require prerequisite courses in anatomy, physiology and medical terminology, but the surgical technology course must include courses in endoscopy technology. While training can take place between 1 to 2 years, many students who plan on a career as an endoscopy tech also enroll in an on-the-job training or internship program in a health care facility. Aside from education, endoscopy tech candidates must also possess critical thinking skills, good reading comprehension and understanding of medical documents, and good communication skills.
Endoscopy techs work closely with other nurses and doctors who work in the gastroenterology field. Much of their work takes place in clinics or hospitals that hold a surgical or gastroenterology clinic and some find jobs in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Endoscopy techs in many cases find positions that require them to be on-call, which results in them working irregular hours.
The Endoscopy tech in some cases is also known as a Gastrointestinal Technician. The tech must also collaborate with other caregivers, supervisors and is responsible for the technical functions related to assisting with GI procedures. The endoscopy tech will fulfill their role by helping prepare the procedure room, assist with the procedure, manage staff, troubleshoot any problems that may arise and also help cleaning equipment and instrumentation. They must also help stock, order and track supplies and work under a direct supervisor, manager or administrator.
Endoscopy techs must learn how to work fast in a busy environment and must understand the importance of teamwork. Many hospitals that specialize in endoscopy procedures may perform hundreds of procedures a month including colonoscopies, Tranesophageal Echocardiograms, Cardioversions, Bronchoscopies and Pain Management.
Like any other job, there are physical requirements too such as walking, standing, gripping, grasping, reaching below shoulder level, bed mobilization and understanding of proper body mechanics, lateral transfers (bed to gurney), lifting up to 25 pounds, pushing and pulling over 100 pounds and carrying up to 25 pounds.
The endoscopy tech must be able to have proper assessment skills and be able to evaluate patient care needs, complete physician orders as directed, administers prescribed meds, change dressings for wounds, monitor vital signs, serves as the person in charge of coordinating of all nurses and doctors and staff for coordinated care and communicate patient's condition as required, instructs and educates patients and families.
Based on a 2004 report, endoscopy techs have a median annual earnings of $26,000. For full-time workers in hospitals, the national median annual salary of full-time endoscopy was $28,500. Salaries can differ by city, state, seniority, company size and experience in general.