A Day at the Endoscopy Center

Essay by ranma237College, UndergraduateA+, November 2006

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Has anyone ever seen one of those educational television programs that take one through a tour of a human body - from the inside? One has probably had some idea of what it's like to be an endoscope. But what is it like to assist a patient who is about to undergo an endoscopy? Will it hurt? Will it make him regret later?

Nurses play an important role in assisting the patient and making him comfortable in this mild invasive diagnostic procedure. By definition, endoscopy is a safe, invasive diagnostic procedure, which allows direct visualization of the interior surfaces of an organ. Through the endoscope, one is able to see lesions, take some small biopsies or sample of the tissues and used to diagnose suspected pathologic conditions of these organs.

Prior to arriving for the scheduled procedure, the patient is instructed not to eat anything after midnight but only drink minimum amounts of water and some broth soup.

This is intended to refrain from being nauseated or even vomits during the time of the procedure. Upon the patient's arrival at the Endoscopy Center, he is requested to register and later wear an identification band, a hospital gown and lay on the assigned bed. He is provided with a pair of socks to keep him warm and comfortable. I happen to be one of his nurses and as part of our admission protocol, I check his identification armband to second check that he is the right patient for the procedure. Vitals signs including the temperature, blood pressure, respirations and pulse are taken in order to be certain that he is within normal limits. I briefly explain the pre and post procedures while starting an intravenous access to his left forearm, which is needed to administer medications like...