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Gastrointest Endosc. 1999 Feb;49(2):163-9.

Licensure, use, and training of paramedical personnel to perform screening flexible sigmoidoscopy.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The purpose of this study was to assess the state board of nursing guidelines about the performance of flexible sigmoidoscopy by nurses and to determine the current use and training of paramedical personnel in flexible sigmoidoscopy at gastroenterology fellowship programs in the United States.

METHODS:

Separate one-page questionnaires were sent to state boards of nursing and directors of endoscopy at gastroenterology fellowship programs in the United States.

RESULTS:

Twenty percent (10 of 50) of state boards of nursing explicitly approve the performance of sigmoidoscopy by registered nurses, and 50% (25 of 50) explicitly approve the practice by nurse practitioners. Forty-six percent (23 of 50) of state boards of nursing have no written policy but allow nurses to use a "decision making model" to determine whether the performance of sigmoidoscopy is allowed. Fifteen percent (24 of 164) of gastroenterology fellowship programs in the United States use paramedical personnel to perform flexible sigmoidoscopy. Sixty-three percent (15 of 24) of these programs started since 1995, and 67% (16 of 24) require that the paramedical personnel perform 50 or more supervised sigmoidoscopies during their training. Forty-five percent (5 of 11) of programs with physician assistants/nurse practitioners use these personnel to perform colonoscopy or endoscopy.

CONCLUSIONS:

Nurses are allowed to perform flexible sigmoidoscopy in most states based on current state board of nursing guidelines. The use of paramedical personnel to perform endoscopic procedures is increasing rapidly.

PMID:
9925693
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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