Lake Forest Endoscopy: Small and Busy

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By Michelle Beaver
The endoscopy team at Lake Forest Hospital, in Lake Forest, Ill., is small but gets a lot done, according to the team's nominator, Sheila Blindauer, nurse manager.

"This small but busy lab has five GI labs, a five-bay holding area and a seven-bay recovery area," Blindauer said. "We do approximately 5,500 GI cases a year and each staff member is crossed trained to minor surgery/pain management, where another 2,500 cases are done a year."

The team provides a variety of services including colonoscopy, EGD, ERCP, Bravo PH monitoring, peg placement, EUS, and Spyglass.

The team members are able to tackle a large workload partly because they have state-of-the-art equipment. Excellent resources help them take more pride in their facility. They take pride outside the facility too; the team is active during Colon Cancer Awareness month in March, and has been for years. For instance, the members feature guest appearances of "Polyp Man," (now there's a dream date), provide the public with screening kits, and make their nurses available to answer questions about GI health and safety.

The events and volunteer work increase every year, and always include raffles with gifts from local businesses.

"The staff brings to the department a great range of nursing experience and cultural diversity," Blindauer said. "We are a diverse group from different ethnic and educational backgrounds. With this we have knowledge and personal experiences which give us the ability to focus on patients with different backgrounds and develop a standard of care which meets their needs."
The staff members help each other like family, and also take excellent care of patients, which is evident from near-perfect scores on surveys that measure patient care.

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