What is Gastroenterology and how can you get involved?
The medical field of Gastroenterology is a study and practice that primarily focuses on the health and biological state of the digestive system, namely the bowels and stomach. There are a variety of illnesses, diseases and disorders that can affect the digestive tract, usually producing incredibly uncomfortable symptoms that could even become quite debilitating if left untreated. This in turn will more often than not affect the health and functionality of the body as a whole. In certain cases, many gastroenterology disorders can reduce the overall number of nutrients the body absorbs.
As a registered nurse in gastroenterology, an individual would also for facilitating the collection of samples and professionally performing a number of other diagnostic procedures, including but not limited to ultrasounds, x-rays, and barium enemas. A gastroenterologist and gastroenterology nurse will also need to routinely review and assess the patient’s medical record, ongoing symptoms, and vital signs.
Depending on the situation of a patient, it could be concluded that long term care is necessary after having dealt with the initial phases of their gastroenterology issues. With this in mind, a gastroenterology nurses could be required to help mentally and physically prepare patients for a life with gastrointestinal problems. This could include distributing advice and information on what is best and worst to eat depending on the patient’s condition and illness, as well as the ideal methods to manage and handle symptoms associated with their disorders.
In order to become a gastroenterologist, in most countries it is essential to obtain a four-year degree, followed by four years at a medical institution. In certain cases, after graduating from a medical school, it may be necessary to undergo a three-year training program, called a residency, in internal medicine. This however is for those planning to specialise in the field or become a resident doctor. Around this time, you would likely work alongside experienced gastroenterologists and potentially receive a professional mentorship.
In the medical industry (as well as many others) it is vital to continue to develop your practical skills and knowledge base, in this case by helping to grow your interest in gastroenterology as early as possible. This in turn will provide ample experience to add to your CV.
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