Every day, the gastrointestinal/endoscopy department (GI/Endo) performs essential functions to support the medical and surgical care of patients. These functions are essential to the care and safety of these patients.

Flexible endoscopes are some of the most sophisticated and, unfortunately, challenging devices to clean. In addition to their unusual design, there are multiple reprocessing steps involved, all of which are critical to effective high-level disinfection or sterilization of the scopes and their accessories.

There are many facets of endoscope processing that need to be understood and practiced each day. However, there are not many resources available to provide this education. In addition, many resources are nursing based. This course has been written to help flexible endoscope reprocessing technicians to understand the knowledge and skills needed for competent performance in flexible scope reprocessing. Although there are some hands-on courses available, most of the training is performed on-the-job. This training might not include all the core competencies needed. This book can be used for self-study or to update your practices. It is strongly recommended to obtain hands-on training at a local facility by volunteering your time.

Best practices for flexible endoscope reprocessing starts with

  • Rules and regulations impacting on endoscope reprocessing are all addressed.
  • Basic Microbiology and Infection Prevention principles.
  • Basic medical terminology
  • Medical procedures associated with the various endoscopes
  • A basic understanding of anatomy and physiology of the GI and pulmonary systems where these scopes are used.
  • The knowledge of the anatomy of flexible endoscopes to understand the design and function of the scopes.
  • Workplace design and employee safety
  • The chemicals (i.e. detergents) and implements needed for effective cleaning.
  • The high level disinfectants that are commonly used to disinfect endoscopes; how to use the chemicals safely for the patient and the employee.
  • Processing basics for flexible endoscopes
  • Storage of endoscopes
  • Quality assurance testing of endoscopes

This course addresses all of the competencies required and provides additional information to increase awareness of the scope of practice of flexible endoscope reprocessing technicians.

This textbook was developed as a simple, up-to-date informative book to help educate flexible endoscope reprocessing technicians and nurses who are working in a healthcare facility, want to learn about this profession, or who are already employed reprocessing flexible endoscopes.

This course is the result of many hours of work by dedicated professionals. The author, contributing authors, review editors, and content editors are committed to providing up-to-date information for those individuals who desire to work or who are currently working in the GI/Endo processing profession, whether in a hospital, surgery center, or medical office.

All the relevant standards and recommended practices are included to ensure the most current recommendations for your practice.

Sterile Processing University is committed to providing current information by continually updating its publications to enhance the knowledge and skills of sterile processing professionals in the United States and around the world.

Nancy Chobin, RN, CSPM, CFER
Sterile Processing University, LLC

GI Scope Course Page