A recent article in Endoscopy International raises the question, “Should the endoscopist be considered and trained like an athlete?” Although those outside the field of endoscopy might not immediately see the connection, because of the physical nature of a gastroenterologist’s job, the issue is an important one. And given the fact that one out of every two endoscopy staff will eventually suffer a work-related musculoskeletal (MSK) injury, the same question should be asked of nurses and nursing assistants.
Topics: colonoscopy, nurse, endoscopy, nursing, safe patient handling, patient safety, GI nursing, endoscopy nursing, looping in colonoscopy, endoscopist, injury endoscopist, nurse injury, endoscope, OSHA, endoscopy tech
The 2018 list of top 10 health technology hazards ranks the "failure to consistently and effectively reprocess flexible endoscopes" as #2. It may seem surprising, but when scopes are not thoroughly cleaned, dried, and stored, they can harbor Pseudomonas (associated with sepsis), salmonella, E. coli, and worse. These microorganisms can then be passed to patients undergoing an endoscopic procedure, like a colonoscopy, and to staff handling the scopes before, during, and after the case.
To attract and retain employees, some businesses offer perks ranging from on-site yoga to monthly karaoke parties. But once the novelty of these benefits wears off, do they really boost morale? Do employees really feel that the company understands their needs? Are the investments genuine? While some employees do appreciate such services, most would rather know that that their organization truly cares about them as individuals.
For years the American Medical Association has urged individuals to assess their risk for pre-diabetes; by being aware of their status or this pervasive disease, they can head off problems before they become serious. And the AMA does not stop there. It urges employers to encourage their workers to complete the health assessment, asserting that diabetes prevention is “good for business.”
Employment of registered nurses is expected to increase 15% from 2016 to 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is a far faster rate than for any other occupation. The growth will likely be driven by a variety of factors, including the rising number of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, and demand for healthcare services from the baby boom population, who are living longer than previous generations. In the field of endoscopy specifically, RNs will see a job growth rate of 26% by 2022.
Nurses are often exposed to a number of potential environmental hazards when performing their jobs. On a daily basis, we encounter patients who need our assistance to keep from falling while ambulating, require a helping hand with toileting needs, need an intramuscular injection, or have a dressing that needs changing. All of these tasks, which nurses around the world might perform multiple times during a typical shift, carry an inherit risk that could expose the nurse to injury or infection. Although the majority of us are able to perform these routine nursing duties without a second thought, it only takes one misstep or unusual circumstance to cause harm to the nurse. Unfortunately, when exposures, patient falls, or other incidents occur, they can have long-term physical effects on the nurse/technician.
If you experience frequent pain as a result of performing a specific task, would you keep doing it? Maybe a professional athlete in the last mile of a marathon would—but what about healthcare workers for whom the race is far from over over? Injured runners, even amateurs, are advised to stop running and seek professional help to diagnose and address the pain, determine the cause, and fix the problem.
An article in the latest issue of The International Journal of SPHM (Safe Patient Handling and Mobility) investigates a significant but rarely publicized problem—musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among endoscopy nurses and technicians. “Endoscopy Staff Injury: A Serious Problem Hiding in Plain Sight” provides specifics on the extent, nature, and root causes of endoscopy staff MSDs and includes data compiled from various studies.
Looping occurs in 90% of all colonoscopies. It is the main cause of patient pain and failed and prolonged procedures. Yet the concept of looping can be hard to grasp and even harder to visualize.
This short video illustrates WHAT looping looks like and WHY it happens.