Job Title: Endoscopy Nurse--RN
Type of Company: I work for a full service local community hospital=. We cover outpatient care to critical care, with affiliations with several hospitals.
Education: Diploma, Framingham Union School of Nursing BS in Nursing, Framingham State College
Previous Experience: I started in school as an assistant to the Camp Nurse locally, and was a pediatric nurse at the same hospital for approximately 21 years. One and a half years ago switched to endoscopy nursing at the same hospital.
Job Tasks: On a typical day at work, I assist the physicians with a variety of endoscopic procedures. These mainly include endoscopy (looking at the esophagus and stomach), colonoscopy, (looking at the large intestine, often screening for colon cancer), bronchoscopy, (looking in the lungs). We look with a fiber optic video scope that can take pictures, as well as take tissue samples and provide some patient therapies.
Sometimes I am the one admitting the patients, sometimes I am recovering them after the procedure, sometimes I am medicating and sedating them for the procedure, and other times I am assisting the doctor directly. Most of the patients are coming from home, and are with us for about three hours and then go home. Some of the patients are inpatients, and need to have these procedures done. It is a very fast paced day, with 10-15 patients being seen by each doctor each day. Some days there are three doctors working at the same time, and we have four procedure rooms.
I am required to have Advanced Life Support training every two years, and a knowledge of common and uncommon medical conditions. My job requires excellent people skills, and great flexibility, as often the day has unpredictable revisions in the schedule.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that I love meeting people and love the interaction. I feel as though I am truly doing some good, and truly helping these people, whatever their reasons for being there. I find it very rewarding that I can make people feel more comfortable in a stressful situation.
The worst part is when there may be a bad or unfortunate outcome with patients. I deal with a lot of elderly sick people, that unfortunately are at the end of their life, and can't be helped further. When we find tumors or masses in fairly young people, that makes for a sad day for all - however, often when we detect them it is early enough for them to have successful treatment.
1. I would recommend finding a college that allows a lot of hands on "doing". A program like Northeastern University's in Boston with a co-op program would be great, as you work in the environment for much of your college career. The nursing school I attended (no longer available) allowed us into the hospital setting within eight weeks of starting, and it is a career you need to "do" to learn. Also, you can work as an aide or med tech while attending a program, and you will learn so much just by being there with the nurses.
Additional Thoughts: If you are considering a career in nursing, you need to be outgoing and curious. You need to be able to put yourself in situations that may scare you, but with a good mentor/trainer, you will learn. You need to be confident. You need to have a LOT of patience, and you need to love people. Compassion is a must. Never forget that it is not just a job, but that you need to treat patients as you would want to be treated in their situation. So many seasoned nurses forget that and are "hardened".
The pay is competitive. People will tell you that the pay is not good - you can make a very good living - and the more education you get, the more you can offer, the more you can make. I would strongly recommend getting your MS in Nursing right away, as it will open many more doors for you in education, administration, or whatever interests you.
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