Look after patients with digestive problems.
What does a Gastroenterology Nurse do?
Gastroenterology Nurses treat stomachaches and digestive problems. Patients with problems of the digestive tract, from ulcers to acid reflux, visit with a Gastroenterologist (a special type of Physician) and a Gastroenterology Nurse for a checkup, diagnosis, and treatment. As a Gastroenterology Nurse, you put an end to tummy troubles.
For the patient’s first visit, you collect his medical history and a list of his symptoms. Once the Doctor has heard his story, you assist in running tests to diagnose the problem. In the case of an upset stomach, you might give the patient some medicine and send him on his way. With more serious complaints, you take X-rays, perform abdominal scans, or prepare the patient for an endoscopy – a procedure where a small camera is used to see inside the stomach.
Depending on what you find, you might advise a change in diet or more drastic measures like surgery. Ulcers, a painful sore in the stomach, could require surgery, while acid reflux disease only requires medication and cutting down on spicy foods.
Communication is key in your job. You explain the proper diet and lifestyle changes to the patient to make sure she knows what to do. Often, you schedule follow-up appointments to recheck her condition.
While most Gastroenterology Nurses work in hospitals or clinics, some visit the patient’s home to provide care. Others choose to specialize in nutrition. Whatever route you take, you help patients become pain-free and begin eating normally again.