Exploring this Job
The best way to learn more about the endoscopy field is to get a summer or part-time job in a doctor's office, such as a gastroenterologist, that specializes in endoscopic procedures. Visit the Web sites of professional associations to find upcoming events and conferences that may be helpful to attend. Search for job listings on the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy's Web site, https://www.asge.org/home/career-center. Also ask your school's career services office for help with finding internship and employment opportunities in endoscopy. Keep up with news and developments in the endoscopy field by reading publications such as the peer-reviewed journals Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, http://giejournal.org, and World Journal of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, https://www.wjgnet.com/1948-5190/about.htm.
Endoscopy technicians assist physicians in endoscopy procedures to examine patients' internal systems, diagnose problems, and collect tissue samples. Surgical procedures may also be done during endoscopies, such as to remove polyps, for example. The endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a camera at the end of it and a light source that allows doctors to clearly see internal organs such as the stomach, small intestine, and esophagus.
Technicians are knowledgeable about endoscopic equipment and procedures. Their main responsibilities include cleaning and maintaining the medical instruments used in the procedure, as well as preparing the procedure room. They make sure endoscope instruments, diagnostic equipment, and the facility in which the procedure is conducted are sterilized in accordance with medical safety standards.
Endoscopy technicians help patients prepare for procedures by collecting biological samples, such as urine or stool samples, from patients prior to the procedure. They may meet with patients to collect medical history, advise patients on the steps involved in the endoscopy, and bring the patients to the procedure room and help position them for the procedure. They monitor patients' vital signs during procedures, making sure they are normal by using such tools as blood pressure monitors or oximeter sensors. They may also hand different tools or instruments to the physician during endoscopy procedures.