Introduction Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and endoscopic ultrasound (ERCP and EUS, respectively) are complex endoscopic procedures requiring highly skilled nursing assistants. For these procedures to be performed safely and efficiently; regular training and teaching is essential. Currently there are no mandatory training courses in the region for these procedures despite the recognised need. The aim of the course was to address the basic principles of these complex endoscopic procedures and highlight recent developments in the field.
Methods Fifty nurses working in endoscopy units around the country attended the first Newcastle ERCP and Endoscopic Ultrasound course for nurses (The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust). They were surveyed at the end of the course using a detailed questionnaire.
Results 50 delegates attended from eight institutions around the UK. 49 (98%) delegates completed the questionnaire. The average experience of the staff working in endoscopy was 5.5 years (range 0–20 years).
13/49 (26.5%) had previously attended some form of ERCP±EUS training. 42 (85.7%) delegates thought all nurses should attend similar course. 38 (77.5%) thought their knowledge was either basic or moderate prior to attending the course. 47 (95.9%) said that their knowledge had improved after the course. 31 (63.2%) thought their ability to assist during an ERCP/EUS either basic or moderate before the course 45 (91.8%) thought their ability to assist during ERCP/EUS had improved after the course. Confidence in assisting the Endoscopist with therapeutic procedures increased from 28 (57.1%) to 41 (83.6%) of attendees after the course. 42 (85.7%) of attendees agree all nurses should undergo a training course within the first year in post in the Endoscopy unit.
Conclusion 1. Less than a third of the endoscopy nurses attending the course had attended some form of formal training course for either ERCP or EUS, despite a medium time working in Endoscopy of 5.5 years.
2. This course not only improved the knowledge and ability to assist during a therapeutic ERCP/EUS list but also improved the nurse's confidence about these complex procedures.
3. More prospective surveys are required to address training issues for nurse assistants involved in ERCP and EUS.
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