How Long Does Endoscopy Technician School Take?
One of the emerging healthcare occupations that is set to have promising employment rate in the next few years is that of an endoscopy technician. As medical technologies continue to grow and laser technology and fiber optics pave the way for more procedures involving the endoscope, this profession is expected to grow in the next few years. The good living wages and the relatively shorter training period compared to other healthcare professions are two of the main draws that attract people to this occupation.
If you are medically-inclined and feel that a career as an endoscopy technician suits you then you will have to go to endoscopy technician school to get the necessary training. Strictly speaking, there is no bachelor’s degree program dedicated solely to endoscopy. However, there are certificate programs in endoscopy that will train you to become an endoscopy technician when you are already working in the field.
The entry point towards becoming an endoscopy technician for those who don’t have any experience in the medical industry is a certificate in medical assisting or associate’s degree in medical laboratory technician or related fields. This is because endoscopy technicians are considered medical assistants who work together with the members of the healthcare team in diagnosing and treating patients. These courses typically take anywhere from less than a year to two years to complete. The medical assistant program at Pima Medical Institute only takes nine months to finish. At Penn Foster College, the associate’s degree in medical assisting is an online program that takes about four semesters to complete. Students take 15 credits of general studies for medical assistant courses and 50 credits of medical assistant core courses. Keiser University, meanwhile, offers an associate of science degree in medical laboratory technician.
For medical assistants who are already working in the field and want to become recognized as endoscopy technicians, they can undertake the associate’s program of the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, Inc (SGNA). In this online program, participants can buy an eight-module program, study it and then take an exam. Completing the program makes them eligible for a certificate of completion and become recognized as a GI Technical Specialist (GTS). The modules, which the aspiring endoscopy technician must study on his own, are: 1) Anatomy & Physiology, 2) Equipment, 3) Reprocessing/Infection Control, 4) Patient Care, 5) Risk Management, 6) Roles & Responsibilities. 7) Safety and 8) Emergency Preparedness. The modules also have post tests that need to be completed by the students to be able to comply with the course.
At Gulf Coast State College in Florida, they incorporate the online SGNA Associate Credentialing Program in their Endoscopic Technician Program. The format of their campus-based traditional core course takes two semesters to complete and provides a college credit certificate (CCC) or an associate’s degree in health science for those who do not yet have prior medical experience which takes five semesters to finish. The time it takes to complete the program includes both classroom and online attendance, laboratory time for those without any experience, clinical experience and studying. Those who are already working as medical assistants and want to get skills validation training as endoscopic technicians usually do so in coordination with their employees.