Nurse Endoscopists have established themselves as independent practitioners throughout the United Kingdom since 1994.
Over 200 nurses contribute significantly to endoscopy services as gastroscopists, flexible sigmoidoscopists, colonoscopists and trainers in the these techniques.
They have been shown to be as competent, safe, acceptable and in some areas more thorough than medical endoscopists.
Non-medical endoscopists, particularly nurses are already an integral part of the national gastrointestinal service and contribute significantly.
Dr Swarbrick and colleagues from the British Society of Gastroenterology report on the development and role of these practitioners.
The committee noted strong patient approval for the role of these practitioners.
|Non-medical endoscopists will be regulated by the Health Profession Council|
|British Society of Gastroenterology|
The practical and legal risks have been addressed by the development of robust training pathways and clinical governance.
The Training Programme developed by the Joint Advisory Group on Gastrointestinal Endoscopy is a requirement for all endoscopists.
The role of non-medical endoscopists is developing and expanding to include therapeutic endoscopy and training.
The development of non-medical endoscopists from non-health care backgrounds is in progress.
Nurses, like doctors, register with their professional council, whereas
non-medical endoscopists will be regulated by the Health Profession Council.
Endoscopists in training must have a recognized supervisor, and a process of mentoring is strongly advised for all independent non-medical endoscopists.
Dr Swarbrick's team concludes, “It is important that aspiring endoscopists, their medical colleagues, trainers and employing trusts recognize the benefits, risks, medico-legal implications and training requirements.”