How do I Become a Gastroenterology Nurse?

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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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A gastroenterology nurse specializes in working with patients who suffer from digestive system disorders. If you want to become a gastroenterology nurse, you need to be an expert on this bodily system, the problems that occur within it and the methods of treatment. You will need many years of education and field work to be ready for this exciting career.

Education is where you must begin your journey if you wish to become a gastroenterology nurse. Most nursing programs require a bachelor's degree to begin. From there, you will spend two to four years learning the various roles that a nurse performs and focus on digestive system conditions. After completing nursing school, you will need to take a board examination test in order to be a registered nurse. This certification will allow you to assist in a variety of patient care and surgical roles.


If you want to become a gastroenterology nurse, you must understand the variety of roles involved in the job. Your patients most likely will be referred to you from other doctors who do not specialize in this field, so you already will have an idea of what is bothering the patient. Using your understanding of this part of the body, you will prep the patient by asking questions as varied as where pain occurs and bowel movement frequency. This will help you get a handle on whether you are dealing with ulcers, acid reflux, internal bleeding or other maladies. This preparation will help the doctor make a diagnosis when he or she examines the patient.

Frequently, you will be able to assist in surgery if you become a gastroenterology nurse. Doctors surgically repair ulcers and internal bleeding, and you can assist in these procedures. One of the most common gastroenterology procedures is the endoscopy, during which a small camera is sent into the digestive tract to inspect it.

No matter what role you take in this field, you will have several options for where you practice your skills. Hospitals are the most common settings for work if you want to become a gastroenterology nurse. Internal medicine departments frequently have several digestive tract specialists that you will assist. Another option is to seek out a private practice physician who specializes in gastroenterology. You will find the pace to be a little slower and the working environment to be more intimate than at a hospital.



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