The effect of gastrointestinal endoscopy nursing experience on polyp detection is unknown.
Dr Evan Dellon and colleagues from North Carolina, USA determined whether nurse experience is associated with odds of polyp detection.
The team retrospectively analyzed screening colonoscopies performed by attendings at University of North Carolina hospitals between 2003 and 2005.
Nurse experience was dichotomized at 6 months.
The primary outcome was polyp detection, with secondary analysis by histologic type.
Descriptive statistics, bivariate analysis, and multiva-riable logistic regression were performed.
The researchers found that polyps were detected in 44% of the eligible 3631 colonoscopies.
Multiple polyps were detected in 23%, adenomas in 25%, advanced lesions in 5%, and hyperplastic polyps in 11%.
|For nurses with up to 6 months of experience, polyps were detected in 40%
|Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
The team noted that 29 nurses were employed during the study period, 19 of whom were new to endoscopy nursing.
For nurses with 6 months of experience or less, any polyp was detected in 40% of procedures compared with 46% of procedures for nurses with more than 6 months of experience.
Similar results were seen for multiple polyps and hyperplastic polyps, but not for adenomas or advanced lesions.
These relationships were unchanged after adjusting for potential confounding patient and procedure variables.
Dr Dellon’s team concluded, “Procedures staffed by less-experienced gastrointestinal endoscopy nurses have increased odds of not detecting polyps.”
“Subanalysis suggests that detection of hyperplastic polyps explains much of this relationship.”