What Does an Endoscopy Technician Do?

Endoscopy technicians are healthcare support personnel who assist physicians and nurses in gastrointestinal diagnostic procedures. Read on to learn more about the job duties and requirements of an endoscopy technician. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Definition

Endoscopes are thin, flexible tubes with small cameras on the end, which are used to examine patients' gastrointestinal systems. As an endoscopy technician, you support and assist gastroenterology (GI) specialists while they use endoscopes to perform exploratory procedures of the stomach, colon, and esophagus. Some of these endoscopic procedures include colonoscopy preparation and biopsy specimen collection. Physicians use the results of these procedures to diagnose and treat conditions of the digestive system.

Job Duties

Your job duties as an endoscopy technician will center on preparing and caring for the medical instruments and equipment used during endoscopic procedures. You're also responsible for maintaining clean examination areas by setting up rooms, cleaning instruments, and maintaining GI diagnostic equipment. An important part of your job includes sterilizing equipment between patients and adhering to infection control measures. Some of your time may be spent assisting physicians and nurses during exams or procedures. You may also collect stool, urine, and other bodily fluid specimens from patients.

Work Environment

Endoscopy technicians work alongside doctors and nurses who specialize in gastroenterology. They often find work in gastroenterology and surgical departments of hospitals and clinics. You may also be able to find jobs in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Many positions require you to be on call and, as a result, you may work irregular hours.

Educational Requirements

Endoscopy technicians must hold associate's degree in endoscopy technology or complete surgical technology training programs. Some employers may also require you to be certified in basic cardiac life support (BCLS) or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). While enrolled in a training or degree program, you'll learn professional skills through in-class instruction and hands-on, clinical practice. Courses may include:

  • Gastrointestinal anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Operating room procedures
  • Gastrointestinal bleeds
  • Medical terminology
  • Pathophysiology of the gastrointestinal tract

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to PayScale.com, the majority of endoscopy technicians earn between $24,051 and $42,618 a year, as of January 2014. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) does not provide information specific to the field of endoscopy technicians, the BLS did project that the employment of all kinds of healthcare support workers, including endoscopy technicians, will likely grow by about 28% between 2012 and 2022.

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