As nurses approach the medical setting in a body systems format, so as it is with the specializations that nurses choose to take nowadays. More and more technique and interventions have been discovered in each area of medicine must be channelled out to nursing. With this demand, specialization is needed in order to take a good grasp on the subject matter. For instance, nurses are trained to focus on a specific field of expertise in order to function as well as be in demand in the job market.
Specializing in a field such as in gastroenterology means getting more information about the field more than the basic nursing education attained. The first thing an aspiring nurse practitioner could do is to undergo the two-year associate’s degree in nursing or even proceed to the four-year course bachelor’s degree in nursing. This educational preparation will enable the candidate to learn the fundamentals of nursing, nursing theories as well as medical terminologies. Courses involving biological science will be taken up so that there is a good foundation in understanding the human body. Clinical exposures will also equip the candidate to be adept with the necessary nursing skills as well as critical thinking skills. Upon completion of the clinical exposures and written examinations, students nurses can now take the board examination for nurses. Licensing may involve taking the local board examination for nurses or otherwise called NCLEX – RN.
After the NCLEX-RN, a preparatory course in gastroenterology is given. This may in a form of taking up Masteral degree concentrating in gastroenterology. The concepts being discussed in the program involves a deeper understanding in pathophysiology in gastrointestinal system. Skills enhancement must also be encouraged such as taking up training in Basic Life Support or Advanced Cardiac Life Support certifications. Clinical experience in the medical surgical wards or units is also an indispensable way to broaden the skills of a nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners have a special position in studying the area of gastroenterology medicine in order to be advanced in skills as well as in knowledge.
Roles and Responsibilities
Nurse practitioners in the field of gastroenterology may perform physical assessments with focus on the gastrointestinal system. After performing a gross physical examination, he or she may request for diagnostic or laboratory work-up in order to help in finalizing the diagnosis being made. During this phase of assessment, the nursing process is very well applied in alley with the medical knowledge given to the nurse practitioner. After necessary tests, results can be interpreted by the nurse practitioner and the referral system enters the scene. He or she may recommend patients to seek further consultation to gastrointestinal specialists or advice patients for admission. The skills needed to perform such responsibilities may include thorough assessment, good communication skills and critical thinking skills. Special procedures such as endoscopy, a nurse practitioner can assist with the physician. Patience and ability to sustain the long periods of standing while the procedure is going on, aside from that sterile field must also be maintained and monitored.
Gastroenterology also calls the nurse practitioner to have good organizational skills in order to keep on track all the flow of tasks. They must also be good in collaboration with other health care workers in order to deliver safe nursing care. Teaching is also a vital role as a gastroenterology nurse practitioner as most patients need rehabilitation after an operation and lifestyle modification. Pre-operative and post operative teaching and discharge planning are some of the activities that a nurse practitioner would do. Aside from routine screening tests, the nurse practitioner must be able to evaluate the responses of patients with the treatment plan.
The nature of the work actually involves independence from the physician’s supervision as well as right collaboration with specialists in times of unusual findings. The advanced knowledge in pathophysiology and pharmacology enables the nurse practitioner to move forward in terms of job description.
Good communication skills as well as therapeutic technique are essential in ensuring that the care being delivered is being given. Through good communication, good teamwork is also established within the working environment.
Gastroenterology nurse practitioners can work in varied working conditions such as large hospitals, private doctors or clinics. Health insurance companies might also need them in analyzing cases related to gastrointestinal system. Many employment opportunities await nurse practitioners in this field.
As nurses advance in knowledge and expertise, the due pay also increase when gauged according to the skills being rendered. According to surveys done with private companies and community clinics, nurses have the potential income ranging from $80,000 to $90,000.
This average range is true in United States of America; salaries differ in location as well as additional fees. The skills and experience also matter in some employees making nurse practitioners look forward in increase their knowledge and skills through continued professional education.
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