Who is allowed to insert colon scope?

Specialties Gastroenterology


Specializes in GI/Endo.

Hey all!

I'm not a new nurse but I'm new to GI/Endo nursing. I can't find any policy at my facility regarding this but I have a question I'm hoping some of you may be able to help me with. Is anyone other than the doctor performing a colonoscopy allowed to insert a colon scope? I know RNs and CST/GI endo techs can manipulate the scope of trained and asked by the doctor performing the colonoscopy but I can't find anything regarding any one other than the doctor performing the procedure being allowed to insert the scope. 
Thanks in advance!


"I can't find anything regarding any one other than the doctor performing the procedure being allowed to insert the scope."

There's your answer. It's an invasive procedure where the operator can perforate the rectum or bowel.

Not that it matters, but why? 

Specializes in GI/Endo.

Hey! Thanks for your reply.

A friend of mine said she saw a certified scrub tech insert the scope during a colonoscopy while the doctor was finishing donning his gown. He inserted the scope during a colonoscopy and then handed the controls to the doctor. She asked me if this was a no no and I said I didn't think they were supposed to do that. I hadn't been working in Endo long enough to really answer with confidence. 

Well, if there is a perf, it's the endoscopist on the hook and it would be pretty hard to keep something like that a secret. The physician would be held liable both on a legal and medical staff level. Especially puzzling because it saves no time at all and the risk so far outweighs the benefits. Even if there were an adverse event unrelated to the placement of the scope, it would be discovered that an untrained, unlicensed, unqualified and non-credentialed person placed it and it would be a 'get the check book out' scenario. 

I've been an Endo RN for 15 years and the only MDs who have ever asked the scope be inserted for them are the surgeons who occasionally do scopes in Endoscopy. I refuse to do it and advise those on my teams not to do it either. It is not my responsibility, I've never been trained to do it, and if something were to happen to the pt I'd be in court right with the MD. 
If there is no policy on something and I'm unsure I often contact Risk Management and Safety to discuss. They usually have good insight. Good luck in Endo 

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