Endoscopy technicians are an integral part of the allied healthcare sector, working alongside surgeons and nurses to help diagnose and treat gastrointestinal disorders.
Endoscopy technician duties revolve around ensuring the sterility and functionality of tools in the room, but there’s much more to it than that.
They also support the medical team during procedures, handle specimens, shift patients according to the physician’s instructions, stock supplies, and perform routine safety checks.
You may already know endoscopy technicians by a variety of names, including:
- Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor
- Endoscopy Specialty Technician
- Gastrointestinal (GI) Technician
What Is an Endoscopy?
An endoscope is a device which contains a light source and a camera. Physicians insert the flexible endoscope into the mouth, throat, anus, urethra, or via a small incision during surgery.
This tool then examines the lining of the GI tract for abnormalities like bleeding, ulcers, tumors, and/or cysts. The device may also be used to take tissue samples for biopsies.
If the esophagus, stomach, or first section of the small intestine are investigated, it’s known as a gastroscopy. If a doctor uses an endoscope on a patient’s large intestine or colon, the procedure is referred to as a colonoscopy.
These are the two most common endoscopy procedures, though bronchoscopies (for lungs and airways) and hysteroscopies (for the uterus and cervix) are some other minimally invasive procedures that endoscopy techs may be involved with.
What are some reasons to join this growing and rewarding field? Read more to discover what you’re missing out on.
1) You Want to Make a Difference
A colonoscopy appointment or biopsy understandably scares a lot of patients, but you’ll have the ability to provide answers to their medical queries.
A diagnosis depends on your capable hands and knowledge. Your patients and medical team will rely on you to provide expert care.
2) Join a Growing Job Market
There’s never been a better time to get involved in the allied healthcare job market.
Тhanks to an incredibly fast-growing elderly population and the medical community’s increased determination to catch conditions (like cancer) early.
This helps to explain the predicted 18% growth rate for all medical jobs from 2016 to 2026.
3) A Great Choice for Morning People
Usually, endoscopy techs will find that their weekly schedules entail morning and afternoon hours. This is when most procedures are performed.
That said, some techs may find themselves “on call” for evening, weekend, or holiday shifts, especially if they work in a hospital or emergency room.
4) You’ve Got an Iron Stomach
You think that human anatomy is totally fascinating, and probably watch an embarrassing amount of surgical videos on Youtube.
This line of work revolves around the inner-workings of the human body, so your enthusiasm will be put to great use whenever you’re in the operating room.
5) Friends Consider You a “Neat Freak”...
Are you the type of person who requires a tidy home and office space? Few things are more important than keeping a sterile working environment.
Your medical team will rely on you, the endoscopy tech, to provide this sort of attention of detail to tools and surfaces before, during, and after procedures.
6) ...and Organization Is Second Nature
Another important characteristic of a great endoscopy tech is their attention to detail. Patient intake forms must be recorded correctly, and procedural equipment must always be kept clean and ready to go whenever it’s needed.
7) Know Exactly What You’re Wearing Every Day
It might seem like a small benefit of working in a medical environment, but having a functional wardrobe of scrubs and shoes makes getting ready in the morning easier than ever. Plus, they’re extremely comfortable (who doesn’t love that?).
8) You’re Not Looking for a Regular 9-5 Job
An upper endoscopy might take around 15 minutes, while a typical colonoscopy takes about 20 to 30 minutes. This means lots of patient turnover, so you’ll be working with many people over the course of a single shift.
9) Discover What You’re Interested In
As we said above, a fantastic part about choosing a career as an endoscopy tech is that you’ll be exposed to a variety of experiences. Many techs come away from their jobs with a newfound interest in different sectors.
Maybe you’ll learn that the administrative side of things is more your speed (as a medical assistant), or you prefer the action that a surgical tech career provides.
10) Excellent Entry-Level Pay
Obviously, income has a major impact on your future career. You’ll be happy to learn that the average endoscopy tech salary is around $37,000.
If we break this down, a gastrointestinal technician hourly wage amounts to almost $18 per hour. And that’s just the median income. The highest earners can make more than $50,000 per year.
Seeing as how the median income for all Americans in 2016 was just under $31,000, this profession offers excellent entry-level opportunities at higher-than-average levels.
11) Excellent Endoscopy Training Programs
Some endoscopy techs are trained on the job, but most employers prefer applicants who have completed a formal training program.
While it may be hard to find a degree program for endoscopy, you’ll find that many colleges and technical schools across the country offer excellent endoscopy technician certificate programs.
12) You Won’t Spend Years in School
Joining this field doesn’t require loads of formal education. In fact, an endoscopy training program often takes less than 1 year to complete.
The intensive classroom training covers sterilization techniques, infection prevention and control, human anatomy, and crucial psychomotor practice that you’ll need for the operating room.
13) Real World Experience with Your Education
After completing their classroom requirements, students will be placed in a clinical internship at a local healthcare facility. While paired with an experienced mentor, endoscopy tech hopefuls will gain crucial hands-on skills to work in their chosen field.
14) Working with Others Is Important to You
In addition to positioning patients, endoscopy technicians may also be asked to transport them to and from the operating room. Occasionally, techs will be responsible for completing patient paperwork as well. It’s safe to say that being a “people person” will get you far in this sector.
15) Great Entry-Level Opportunities
For people starting out as a GI tech, the sky’s the limit. No matter which city or state you’re in, every hospital has a need for your set of skills. What’s more, the enthusiasm that you have for your job can expose you to more lucrative allied healthcare career opportunities
down the road.
16) You’re Always Looking to Improve Your Skills
Hospitals and clinics need to stay abreast of all of the latest developments in the medical world. You’ll be encouraged to attend extra training sessions to boost and refresh your skills, and some medical facilities will pay for extra certification courses to expand your capabilities.
17) You’ll Have Some Incredibly Interesting Stories
It’s common for people to act strange or goofy while they’re sedated, and colonoscopy patients are certainly no different.
In fact, they may do a lot of hilarious things during their procedure. As long as you follow patient confidentiality laws, you’re probably going to have a few great anecdotes to whip out at parties.
18) Use Your Skills to Help Train Others
Just like you were placed with a mentor in your internship, hospitals and clinics depend on experienced techs to train other student hopefuls.
This motivates a GI technician to stay on top of their own educational path and can lead to them updating their resume with administrative work, too.
How to Become an Endoscopy Technician
If you’ve got a high school diploma (or equivalent) and are interested in the healthcare field, consider applying to an endoscopy technician training program.
We recommend visiting a few campuses to make sure that you find the best one for you. Be sure to check whether your technical school or college is accredited by an agency that is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
Improve Your Odds of Finding a Great Endoscopy Tech Job
While your state might not require certification to work as a GI technician, it’s highly recommended. Not only does it put you ahead of other applicants, but it shows future employers that you’re dedicated to your career.
You can obtain your CER certification via the International Association Of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM).
Speak to a Representative Today
If you’re currently living in New Jersey – or thinking about a move to the Garden State – our representatives are available to answer any questions that you may have about joining our endoscopy technician program.