The job duties of an endoscopy technician range from working with patients to sterilizing equipment. Assisting doctors and nurses and maintaining the examination rooms are also generally part of the job description. Endoscopy technicians generally work in the endoscopy departments of hospitals or clinics. This department specializes in stomach and intestinal problems and treatments.
An endoscopy technician is usually responsible for preparing the endoscope and other equipment that will be needed for various procedures. An endoscope is a long tube with a camera at the end that is placed in the patient’s body to diagnose medical problems. This and other medical equipment must be sterilized before use. The technician is also responsible for cleaning and resterilizing the equipment after the procedures are finished. Ensuring that the equipment works correctly and that there are enough supplies to complete the necessary procedures are also responsibilities of the endoscopy technician.
Another duty of the endoscopy technician is caring for the patients who come in for procedures. Completing the patients’ intake forms or other related paperwork, explaining procedures, and making sure that they are comfortable are also important aspects of the job. Technicians also prepare the examination room for each patient. As they work directly with patients, technicians should have compassionate manners and professional demeanors, as well as be knowledgeable enough to answer questions.
In addition to caring for patients, the endoscopy technician also may assist the doctors and nurses with specific procedures. They may record the doctors' observations during the procedures. Another aspect of an endoscopy technician's job may include taking care of any biopsies or other specimens that have been taken from the patient during a procedure. This includes labeling the specimen as well as handling it properly and making sure it gets to the proper destination.
Endoscopy technicians should be familiar with all of the practices and concepts related to endoscopy procedures. This will help them to assist the doctors as completely as possible. Physicians generally supervise these technicians.
Formal postsecondary education is usually not required to become an endoscopy technician; a high school diploma is often enough. This is because endoscopy technicians usually receive training on the job. Some medical background may be required, but a degree is usually not necessary. There are two-year degrees available that may help people who want to become endoscopy technicians as the higher educational background may make them more desirable candidates for jobs.