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Staff profile block: 

Rachel Hedges

Healthcare assistant
Rachel Hedges

It's a very rewarding job if you’re willing to put yourself in the patients’ shoes.

What is it like?

Endoscopy means looking inside . It refers to looking inside the body for medical reasons using an endoscope. This is a medical instrument inserted through a cavity in the body, eg the nose, mouth or anus. so that we can directly exam an organ.

We perform several types of procedure, including:

  • Broncoscopy – looking directly at the passages that take air to the lungs
  • Colonoscopy – the examination of the colon (also known as the large bowel or intestine)
  • Gastroscopy – the examination of the upper gut (the oesophagus, stomach & duodenum)

These procedures are carried out in theatres within endoscopy.

What will I do?

As an HCA in endoscopy, your time will be split between:

  • Assisting patients – seeing them in, helping them prepare for procedures and caring for them in recovery
  • Assisting in theatre – helping patients into position, checking physiological measurements and assisting with certain tests eg biopsies and analysing urine

As you can imagine, many of our patients are very nervous, so you will need to have a calm and reassuring manner. You’ll also need an eye for detail, as you’ll be meticulously checking details and performing tests. We are often very busy, so you need to be able to keep calm and focussed on patient care, even when under pressure.

Endoscopy may not seem like an obvious choice, but it is a very interesting and satisfying place to work.