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Gastroenterology Nursing: An In Depth Look

What Does a Gastroenterology Nurse Do?

As a gastroenterology nurse, you provide care and case management to patients with gastrointestinal problems. These patients are undergoing diagnostic or therapeutic procedures concerning problems with the stomach or digestion, including stomach ulcers, acid reflux disease, and intestinal bleeding. You may also assist in specialized diagnostic procedures like endoscopies, which detect abnormal tissues like polyps and tumors. Gastroenterology nurses work in a variety of settings, including endoscopy centers, inpatient hospital units, and physician offices.

Education & Training Required to Become a Gastroenterology Nurse

Though specific gastroenterology nursing degree programs are not required, a high school diploma and a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate's degree, or a hospital diploma is required for gastroenterology nursing. You can also attend various online degree programs to earn your associate's or bachelor's degree. You then take a test to become a licensed nurse, called the National Licensure Examination. An additional certification exam gives you the title "Certified Gastroenterology Specialty Nurse", which can help you earn a higher salary and advance in this career.

Typical Characteristics of a Gastroenterology Nurse

To be a successful gastroenterology nurse, attention to detail and considerable organizational skills are required. Additionally, you need to be excited and prepared to learn how to operate the machinery required for diagnosis and therapy. Sympathy, caring, and a desire accommodate the needs of the patient are also particularly useful during periods of patient preparation before, during, and after diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

High Demand for Gastroenterology Nurses

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in health care, with nurses filling 2.6 million jobs in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There should be a high demand for nurses in general, including gastroenterology nurses, as the projected overall growth rate from 2008 to 2018 is 22 percent. The growth rate for nurse jobs in a physician's office has the highest projected growth rate: 48 percent. This growth rate includes outpatient care centers, such as facilities specializing in endoscopic procedures.

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