Gastroenterology nurse practitioners (NPs) diagnose and treat problems in the digestive system. This position may involve working with in- or out-patients and include administering medication or referring patients to other therapies or health care providers. These nurse practitioners also obtain health and medical histories from patients and their previous providers to gain a better understanding of the disorders being treated.
Nurse practitioners often work under the supervision of a physician and may also coordinate care with other medical providers, so it's important to be able to communicate well and keep documentation of all administered care. Aspiring gastroenterology nurse practitioners should graduate from an accredited nursing school and earn the required certification, and the hours of the job may vary, as those in this position are needed around-the-clock, especially in hospital environments.
Nurse practitioners must enjoy working with people and should be patient and professional at all times. They are often tasked with educating patients regarding how the health of the digestive system can be improved at home, and they must have and maintain in-depth knowledge of the digestive system, diseases that affect it, and human anatomy in general. It's also important to stay up-to-date with new developments in the field in order to apply the best possible practices. Minor physical requirements include the abilities to stand and walk for long periods of time and lift heavy items.
Gastroenterology Nurse Practitioner (NP) Tasks
Order and interpret test results and recommend treatment of patients.
Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment and counsel patients.
Prescribe therapy or medication with physician approval.
Administer therapeutic procedures.
Provide physicians with assistance during surgery or complicated medical procedures.