The staff members of Puget Sound Gastroenterology, in Edmonds, Wash., don't just talk the talk when it comes to colorectal-cancer awareness, they walk the walk. The team members who are 50 or above have been screened for colon cancer at least once, and every March the team hosts a colon-cancer awareness fair. The members hand out fliers and brochures on the topic, and share their own screening stories so that people will know that getting a colonoscopy is not difficult.
The business performs colonoscopies and upper endoscopies, and is owned by six physicians. It opened in 1998 and has two procedure rooms and a four-bay recovery room. The team is made up of 4 RNs, two LPNs, three techs and one unit clerk, and all together they perform an average of 4,500 procedures per year. The facility is open four days a week except on the second week of the month, when it is open five days.
The team at PSGE is a very diverse group, said lead charge nurse Cheryl Leamer, CGRN. She has been manager of the endoscopy center for 13 years, in which time she's seen a great many changes in the business.
"The LPNs on the team are respected long-term employees and are fantastic nurses," Leamer said. "The RNs in the group come from many backgrounds of nursing and provide a well-rounded mix of caring, thoughtful nurses. The patients always come first in their eyes and they bend over backwards to make every patient feel respected and cared for."
It's the endoscopy technicians, however, that hold the group together, Leamer believes.
"Without them, we would not be able to have such a well-oiled machine," she said. "Because of the mixture of staff that we have I think that it's most important to know that we are all on the same team, no matter if you are an RN, LPN or tech. We have a very small department and when you have a group of women working in that tight a space, communication is of the utmost importance. There is no space for bickering and the team prides itself in taking their issues away from the busy day and dealing with things as adults."