Gastroenterology is a field of medicine that focuses on the health of the digestive system, including the stomach and bowels. Diseases and illnesses of the digestive tract often produce very uncomfortable symptoms and will often affect the health of the body as a whole. For example, some gastroenterology disorders can affect the amount of nutrients the body absorbs.
Gastroenterologists and Gastroenterology Nurses focus on treating and caring for individuals suffering from diseases and disorders of the digestive tract.
What does a Gastroenterology Nurse do?
When first meeting with a patient, a gastroenterologist and gastroenterology nurse will often review the patient’s medical history, symptoms, and vital signs. A gastrenterology nurse will also often be responsible for collecting samples and performing other diagnostic procedures, such as x-rays, ultrasounds, and barium enemas. Endoscopy nurses will assist during or perform endoscopy procedures.
Caring for and treating a gastroenterology patient is an important part of being a gastroenterology nurse. As a gastroenterology nurse, you will often help explain the different options available to patients as well as the benefits and risks associated with them. You may also help patients take medications and give them advice on nutrition. During surgical procedures, a gastroenterology nurse may also be asked to assist during surgical procedures as well.
Long-term care after gastroenterology problems is also sometimes necessary. Gastroenterology nurses help aptients prepare themselves for a life with gastrointestinal problems. They may offer advice on what to eat an what not to eat, for instance, or how to manage symptoms associated with their disorders.
Where does Gastroenterology Nurses Work?
During a career as a gastroenterologist, you will often be able to find positions in hospitals and well as private specialists’ office. Some clinics and long-term care facilities might also hire gastroenterology nurses.
How do I Become a Gastroenterology Nurse?
Gastroenterology nurses must become Registered Nurses by completing a diploma, associate degree, or bachelor degree from an accredited nursing program. All nursing programs provide classroom and laboratory training and supervised clinical experiences. Prospective registered nurses typically complete courses in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, nursing ethics, nursing philosophy, nutrition, and human growth and development. All registered nurses must be licensed by passing the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN).
Most gastroenterology nurses also become certified from the American Board of Certification for Gastroenterology Nurses or other certifying organization. Certification requirements include minimum experience and passing a written and practical examination. Gastroenterology nurses must complete regular continuing education to maintain their licenses and certifications.
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