Whether you’re an experienced endoscopy nurse or a novice RN searching for a new specialty, you may have considered travel nursing. And we don’t blame you! Traveling as an endoscopy nurse can add even more dynamism to an already dynamic specialty. 

If you’re interested in becoming an endoscopy travel nurse, take a look below at our top 8 strategies for success before you hit the road. 

#1. Understand the Dynamics of Endoscopy Travel Nursing

Typically, travel nurses work in a certain location anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Endoscopy travel nursing follows the same model but also involves the skills and obligations specific to endoscopy nursing. 

What is an Endoscopy Nurse?

Endoscopy nurses are registered nurses (RNs) who work closely with gastroenterologists and other medical professionals to assist patients throughout endoscopic procedures—usually, the use of a fiber optic cable, through one of the body’s openings including the mouth, or rectum to take internal images. These images help physicians arrive at a diagnosis and, when needed, design treatment plans.

A standard work shift for an endoscopy nurse may entail:

  • Cleaning, sterilizing, and preparing supplies and equipment
  • Educating patients
  • Preparing patients for procedures and helping physicians throughout the process
  • Administering medications and intravenous treatments
  • Monitoring patients’ reactions to medications and vital signs during (and after) procedures
  • Tracking patient progress and updating patient records

An endoscopy nurse may also counsel patients on ailments—and the dietary requirements they demand—and manage their recovery post-procedure. Depending on the facility you find yourself in, you might also perform cancer screenings and help patients navigate the symptoms of illnesses like ulcerative colitis. 

#2. Recognize the Essential Skills and Qualities of Endoscopy Travel Nursing

As you might imagine, endoscopy nursing calls for a calm hand, extensive medical knowledge, and a solution-oriented mindset—to say nothing of the “soft skills” that are vital to the profession of nursing, such as:

  • Patience and compassion – While endoscopies are a safe, common tool for diagnosing and treating a wide range of illnesses (such as esophageal and bowel abnormalities), patients may understandably experience apprehension before or during an endoscopic procedure. Endoscopy nurses can calm patient fears through education and by operating as the advocate between patients and their medical teams. This requires both composure and empathy, particularly when your days are filled to the brim with tasks.
  • Observation skills – Endoscopy nurses are also asked to pay close attention during procedures. They may help detect abnormalities and complications in a patient’s body. This attention to detail may help physicians arrive at a diagnosis and decide on the most appropriate treatment.
  • Effective communication strategies – As a nurse, but especially as a travel nurse, you encounter patients from a variety of backgrounds. Fine-tuned communication skills that embrace differences in language, ethnicity, gender, and cultural and religious perspectives are crucial in the endoscopy unit.

Endoscopy travel nurses should also have (or be willing to adopt) several of the traits that are key specifically to travel nursing care: adaptability, flexibility, and resilience.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become an Endoscopy Travel Nurse? 

In addition to earning an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) and passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), endoscopy nurses (travel and otherwise) must obtain relevant clinical experience. 

Employers may prefer that such experience be gained in:

  • Critical care
  • Gastroenterology units
  • Med/surgery

To stand out to potential employers, you may also want to pursue a Gastroenterology Registered Nurse (CGRN) certification. Administered by the American Board of Certification for Gastroenterology Nurses (ABCGN), certification requires two years of clinical experience in a gastroenterology unit (or 4,000 clinical hours) and successful completion of an exam consisting of 175 questions.

What’s more, travel nurses must be licensed in their state of permanent residence. Thanks to the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), you may not need to obtain licensure in every state where you apply for an endoscopy travel nursing job. Just be sure to verify this with your travel nursing agency. 

Is Endoscopy Nursing Stressful? 

Reading about all of these skills and qualifications, you may be asking yourself, “Is endoscopy nursing stressful?” 

Of course, this depends on your definition of stressful. Endoscopy nursing tends to move at a fast pace and requires some physical stamina; you may also have to assist with acute bleeding and emergencies. That said, this isn’t terribly different from all other nursing specialties. Ultimately, it’s a profession that’s taxing, but one that’s also incredibly admirable and rewarding.

#3. Prepare to Navigate Different Endoscopy Procedures on the Road

Travel nurses in general must acclimate to new environments quickly—and for those who enjoy challenges and fresh experiences, this is one of the primary appeals of the job.

This challenge is taken a step further in travel endoscopy nursing: Nurses must also be familiar with (and ready to adapt to) the different procedures offered at various healthcare facilities. This includes procedures like:

  • Colonoscopy 
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Swallow studies

The best way to prepare for procedures you may be asked to assist with or conduct is to obtain as much experience as possible prior to applying for travel nursing positions. 

#4. Plan to Adapt to Different Healthcare Settings as a Travel Nurse

Travel nursing requires staying on your toes in more ways than one. 

Familiarizing yourself with new healthcare centers and staff members, figuring out the fastest and most economical commute, navigating unfamiliar facilities and their protocols—all can feel overwhelming, whether you’re on your first or fifteenth assignment.

With that in mind, consider:

  • Finding a mentorNursing mentors can be incredibly helpful when it comes to getting the lowdown on a facility. Not only can they fill you in on the logistics of a place (and its people), but they may also provide you with coping strategies and insider tips.
  • Preparing in advance – Before your first day, be sure to read as much as you can about the facility you’re entering so that you have a leg-up on a center’s main policies. Also, don’t be afraid to leverage social media. It can be an excellent way to meet your future colleagues prior to starting a new nursing job.
  • Embracing flexibility – Some facilities’ dynamics or administrations may trigger frustration, especially if they’re completely at odds with what you’re accustomed to at home. Strive to be flexible, and bear in mind that, unless circumstances change or you shoot for a long-term contract, yours is not a permanent situation. This alone should soften some of the burden of challenging situations. Speaking of which…

#5. Manage Challenges: Tips for Endoscopy Travel Nurses

From exploring glamorous cities to igniting new friendships, travel nursing comes with a host of perks.

But like nearly every job, it’s not without challenges. Here are several tips for combating a few of the most common challenges for endoscopy travel nurses:

  • Physical demands – Given the nature of the procedures you’ll be assisting with, you can expect to spend most of the day on your feet and exert yourself while positioning (and repositioning) patients. We all know a quality pair of shoes can go a long way toward remaining comfortable throughout your shift, but you can also offset the physical strains with massage and yoga.
  • Housing concerns – Outstanding travel nursing companies like Host Healthcare provide ample help to their nurses with dedicated housing support teams.
  • Unfamiliar systems – From clocking in to using a new health record system (EHR), you’ll be introduced to a number of new computer systems with each new assignment. Well-prepared recruiters can supply you with key information on these systems before your arrival but don’t overlook the benefits that might be gained by simply asking your colleagues (or nursing mentor) for assistance.
  • Patient anxiety – Patients undergoing endoscopic procedures are often racked with anxiety. Endoscopy nursing is, in part, about helping patients face these fears. So, ensuring that your own mental health is solid is important. This is largely subjective, but therapy, hobbies, and mindfulness practices like meditation may help prepare you for dealing with distressed patients prior to undergoing an endoscopy procedure.

#6. Create a Strong Work-Life Balance in Endoscopy Travel Nursing

To mitigate the stress of both traveling and endoscopy nursing, it’s important to strike a balance between work and your personal life. With that in mind:

  • Eye your commitments – You might be tempted to accept additional shifts and/or work overtime, but this may rapidly lead to burnout—a workplace hazard (if you will) that impacts as much as 62% of nurses. Avoiding burnout calls for adequate time spent away from work. Besides, the whole point of travel nursing is to explore new places, so don’t forget to take advantage of this.
  • Bring your daily routine with you – The routines we have keep us grounded. So, whether you’re used to going for a run after your workday or reading before bed, be sure to maintain the same rituals you follow at home. In turn, you may feel more at home, wherever you go.

#7. Build a Strong Support Network on Your Travel Nurse Journey 

Regardless of their specialty or locale, nurses (as you likely know) benefit tremendously from support networks. For some, this may look like a “work wife;” for others, it might be spending time with fellow CrossFitters or yoginis. 

While you’re traveling, you might discover a new community of kindred spirits by joining:

  • Nurses associations
  • Social media groups specifically for travel nurses (which you can find through LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook)
  • Meetups organized by your facility
  • The Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates
  • American Gastroenterological Association

Above all, aim to socialize with your colleagues. Interacting outside of your workplace is one of the best ways to forge friendships with your coworkers.

#8. Maximize Opportunities for Growth as an Endoscopy Travel Nurse

Traveling to a new, exciting environment may seem like opportunity enough but there’s almost always room for growth in the profession. In addition to obtaining your CRGN (as mentioned earlier), you may want to look into positions as a nurse educator or nurse manager.

And while continuing education is mandatory, you may decide to advance your career even more by earning your master’s or doctorate. 

Whatever you decide, you can rest assured that your mere presence during an endoscopy can make a huge difference in a patient’s life.

Enhance Your Endoscopy Nursing Career with Host Healthcare

Sharing your expertise, compassion, and commitment with patients across the country through travel nursing can be terrifically rewarding for both you and the patients you serve. And Host Healthcare simplifies the process. 

We match nurses from all specialties with dedicated recruiters who will work hard on your behalf to pair you with assignments that align with your goals and preferences. With exclusive access to thousands of healthcare jobs in every state, you’re sure to find your ideal assignment and build the life and career you deserve.

Apply today to get started.



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