The Second Time Around: Re-Entering the Endo Field

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By Susan Bartlett, RN

It’s not true. You can go back. Much will have changed, but you can return.

That's what I did this last year―I went to a different hospital but to the same specialty in which I used to work. I returned to endoscopy.

I started my healthcare career in 1986 and then left for years to pursue other avenues. Now, and I'm back, and through my work at Health Central Hospital’s endoscopy department in Ocoee, Fla., I've seen that a lot has changed since my previous career in endoscopy. 

For instance, the last time I did this kind of work, I was giving Demerol and Versed in small increments while watching the monitor with one eye, and with the other eye watching the activity between the technician, physician, and sedated patient.

Polyps were strained from simple-styled traps, and stents were slowly threaded over three feet of protruding guide wire. The introduction of balloon dilators was only starting to push the Maloney’s and Savory’s back to the shelf.

We had three LPNs and one respiratory therapist with extensive endoscopy experience. They did 90 percent of the technical work in our department. I could set up the scope and wield hot or cold forceps. That was my life back then, and then changing family responsibilities made it difficult to do my share of call, which meant I needed to change jobs.

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