Christal Ayton will begin her training to become the first Transitional Nurse Practioner Endoscopist (TNPE) for the Western NSW Local Area Health District.
Ms Ayton was appointed into the role after the health service introduced the TNPE, and will be trained to perform elective screening and diagnostic colonoscopy and gastroscopy.
Ms Ayton has worked in the perioperative suite for almost 27 years and has chosen a clinical path for her career. Her training will take place over the next two years under clinical supervisor specialist consultant Dr Dean Fisher.
Dubbo Health Service, Manager of Theatre and Perioperative Services, Liz Murphy said the role would be an excellent addition to the services provided.
The TNPE will be trained to the same level of skill as is expected of medical endoscopists. The nurse endoscopist leads all aspects of the patient care from assessment through to performing the endoscopy and patient follow-up. They work closely with the specialist surgeon and patients are referred on to a surgeon as required.
The role will allow specialist surgeons and physicians to be freed up to provide more complex care and surgery, leaving the screening and diagnostic procedures to the qualified nurse, reducing the waiting time and improving access to services for patients.
Ms Ayton said there were currently only six other nurse endoscopists in the country.
"My appreciation extends to Debbie Bickerton, who was instrumental in the implementation of this role in a regional hospital. A debt of gratitude to Dr Dean Fisher, the Clinical Supervisor for his mentorship and support.
"I am looking forward to providing the Nurse Practitioner Endoscopist service in Dubbo and potentially the wider WNSWLHD region and hopefully inspire other nurses to follow the same clinical path."
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