Introduction of the Nurse Endoscopist Role in One Australian Health Service
In Australia, nurses performing endoscopic procedures is a recent phenomenon and is uncommon. Challenges include gastroenterologist and patient acceptance of the nurse endoscopist role. This article aims to explore Monash Health's experience with the introduction of a nurse endoscopist. A nurse endoscopist trainee undertook a comprehensive training program under the supervision of a gastroenterologist. All procedural data were collected, organizational policy and procedures were developed, and patients (n = 40) completed a telephone interview postprocedure. The nurse endoscopist trainee completed all training requirements during the 12-month program and was deemed competent for independent practice. The trainee performed 255 colonoscopies, with no complications reported. The organization successfully implemented the expanded scope of practice, established a new model of care for patients, and initiated a governance framework for this advanced practice role. Eighty percent of patients (n = 32) reported that overall, they had a very good experience with the nurse endoscopist trainee. A nurse endoscopist initiative can facilitate the expansion of endoscopy services to meet the growing need for gastroenterological procedures within the community. This pilot program has demonstrated that it is possible to integrate an advanced practice nurse role into an established endoscopy unit.