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Endoscopist Interview: Cathy Easley

by ColoWrap, on June 20, 2024


Cathy Easley has been an endoscopy technician for over 30 years. She loves her job but not the pain and injuries that have taken their toll on her over her career.

Cathy: Hello, my name is Cathy Easley. I've been an endoscopy tech for nearly 30 years. 

Describe some of the challenges with colonoscopy

Many physicians require the use of abdominal pressure or splinting frequently at the very beginning of the procedure, and sometimes that can leave me there holding on for up to, you know, ten, 12 minutes at a time. 

The biggest challenge for me when working endoscopy is trying to maintain the, a healthy position while holding abdominal pressure. Sometimes that can be a challenge. There are a couple of positions that really cause me the most discomfort is reaching over the patient and lifting their abdomen. That for me, that hurts my shoulders and my back and I've had a lot of problems there over the years. 

And, then also from the front of the patient. Pushing using the palm of my hand to push on the left lower quadrant has caused actually more problems for me than anything else. Numbness in my wrists, and I'm starting to have arthritis in the thumb, in my dominant hand. So, lifting somebody's abdomen and pushing like that on it, lifting it up like that for extended times causes me to have a great deal of pain.

ColoWrap: What effects have these "job requirements" had on you personally?

Cathy: As I get older, it does take me longer to recuperate. That's the biggest problem for me too, is that I don't just bounce right back the next day and get back to work. 

I don't want to have to look for a different kind of job at this point just because I love what I do and it's pretty much what I have done my whole life. So I worry about my future and what may become of it. If I, for example, sustain a very serious injury, potentially could put me out of my career permanently. So that's probably my biggest fear for the future. It's not being able to do what I love doing. 

ColoWrap: If you didn't have to apply abdominal pressure and reposition patients, how would your work be different?

Cathy: If I didn't have to do abdominal pressure and repositioning the patient, sometimes multiple times during a procedure, I could focus more on assisting the physician with the procedures, taking biopsies and those kind of things. 

Sometimes it's very positional and we only have a few moments in the area that we're trying to look at or get biopsies of, and if I have to hold on to the patient's abdomen to get there and then run around the patient and then get an instrument to take a biopsy or that kind of thing, I could, we could lose the position, as has happened before and then have to then I have to go back around and provide pressure so we can get back to that place again. It would make for a smoother procedure and also less delays for the patient, of course. 


What Do Gastroenterologists Think of ColoWrap?

Dr. Sandi Fields was a community gastroenterologist for 13 years at Annie Penn Hospital and ColoWrap user. In an interview with her, she discuss how ColoWrap benefited both her patients and her staff.


Topics:colonoscopyendoscopysafe patient handlinglooping in colonoscopyendoscopistinjury endoscopistendoscopy techergonomicsendoscopy ergonomicsmusculoskeletal injuryendoscopy staff injury



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