Surgical techs in GI LAB


Does anyone use surgical techs in the GI LAB? We have for ten years now all of a sudden there scope of pactice isn't good enough. The only thing I see which they are unable to do is inject through the scope, like epinephrine and ink. They currently do snaring with cautery under direct supervision of the physician. Cautery is also used in ERCP's and that is also done in direction of the Physician. No they want to get rid of the surgical techs and have the RNs doe that. I know that management is filling us with BULL because the Association of Surgical Technicians states that there job is to use cautery under direct supervision of physician and that most of the other duties of the technician in our department is not as indepth as if they were actually working in the OR.

Technically that doubles the RN's job and also the call schedule doubles. We are not to increase our RN's staffing


50 Posts

We have all RNs in our department and we do all the things you named. I'm confused, if the techs do all that, what do the RN's do?


4 Posts

We use technicians who have been on the job trained, nursing assistants, or surgical assistants. They assist the MD with the equipment. The RN does moderate sedation or assists the tech, MD, and/or Anesthesia staff during the procedure. Also, The RN takes care of all the documentation, specimens, and turn around of the patients to recovery and the next one to the room.

Specializes in OR, PACU, GI, med-surg, OB, school nursing. Has 20 years experience.

My unit sounds just like wvgi's. We are a small hospital; we have scrub techs, LPNs, and RNs all do the scrub role, depending on what's going on in the rest of the unit (the rest of the unit being an OR). In addition to the sedation and other tasks mentioned, the RN is responsible for monitoring the patient. I haven't heard anything about techs no longer being OK.


168 Posts

LPN's are not hired at our hospital I guess management feels they don't know enough. Now our surgical techs will be PCA and transport patients. The problems is the cuting tissue with a snare techs are not allowed to do that or inject through a scope. Everything else they are allowed to do. The snaring of tissue is done with the direct supervision of the physician. They have done this for 10 years and are better at it than any RN ever yet they are not qualified to do the job.

They are looking into RN's doing the cut on PEG tubes. This is also cutting tissue if RN's are not allowed to cut for PEG tubes does this mean RN's are not allowed to snare polyps?


4 Posts

katfoster what state are you in? I assume that each state has their own regulations for what a surgical tech can do. We also use surgical techs, some of which are actually CMAs to tech for our procedures while the RN sedates, manages specimens, and monitors the patients as well as documents everything. this is the first I've ever heard that they aren't suppose to be injecting into the scope.


168 Posts

If anyone can help me with this I live in Washington State.

The problem was Gi was always under Surgical services and at some point the surgical techs followed to Gi lab out of the surgical suite and the idea was that if they were able to do all the surgical services then why not GI.

Cautery is technically done by the physician and nothing is done in the room that is not done under the direct supervision of the physician.

Many hospitals in Washington state still use Surgical technicians to assist the physician and are supposedly not following the Scope of practice.

I believe the management at the hospital I work believes they want a full RN Staff and created policies that they want us to abide by.

We have had surgical techs working out of there scope of practice for over 10 years and it was never discussed that they were not working in there scope of practice. Now all of a sudden they are getting layed off after they teach the RNs the assisting side of GI.

It isn't like I don't want to learn it I feel that if they are not qualified to do the job why are they qualified to teach the job.

They are loosing there jobs shortly after teaching us this has created a lot of problems in a department that has always ran without any problems.


168 Posts

We sit on our butts and eat bonbons.

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