Nurses who work in a GI Lab


I did an observation for school last week in the GI lab. We observed so we could write a research paper on what the nurse does pre, intra, and post procedure. I was able to witness what was done intra and post procedure, but did not get to see how a nurse interacts with the pt pre procedure, as far as pt teaching, answering questions etc. If any of you could help explain to me what you do before procedures are done in the GI lab, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance!


3,413 Posts

Has 38 years experience.

Pre procedure the nurse does a lot but it takes longer to "write it out" than actually do it. A lot of "paper work" stuff but that is important. Is the patient's arm band correct. Is the MD's history and physical on the chart, up to date (usually within 30 days) and specifically states what the procedure to be is. Any additional MD orders (sometimes pt's get antibiotics before the procedure.) Assess the patient, get vital signs, and if a vital sign is "boarderline" high or low notify the MD. List allergies and ask about any reaction to prior sedation procedures. Do they have sleep apnea or snore. Is the patient ready, NPO and the bowel prep completed, stools liquid and reasonably clear. Do they have a ride home, you must get the ride's name and phone number. A list of meds they take, if blood thinners when did they stop, is there a recent INR lab result on the chart, are they diabetic, when did they last take their diabetic meds, and get a finger stick blood sugar prior to the procedure. The consent must be witnessed. Start an IV with the correct fluid that MD requests. Assess the patient's knowledge, sometimes a quick "this is what will happen after the procedure," sometimes they have a lot of questions. Answer what you are comfortable with but don't be afraid to say "I don't know, I will be sure to ask the MD when we see him before you are sedated."