12/05/2021 | Press releases

New nurse endoscopists join ESNEFT team

Nurse specialists come in many forms, from working with children, cardiac nurses or those working in oncology caring for cancer patients. But a new kind of nurse specialist has joined the ranks at ESNEFT in the form of a nurse endoscopist.

Michele Boffardi and Gabriel Gora are two of the new nurse endoscopists who are specially trained to carry out colonoscopies and gastroscopies to detect for potential issues in the bowel or stomach.

Already working as nurses, when a new training programme was developed to specialise in the procedures, they both took the opportunity to develop their skills, so alongside doctors they could help diagnose patients who may have bowel or stomach conditions needing further treatment.

Gabriel Gora and Michele Boffardi
Gabriel Gora (left) and Michele Boffardi (right)

Michele, who is based at Colchester Hospital, said being able to carry out the procedures has really helped the workload, particularly during the pandemic. He said: “We are able to release time for the doctors as we’re able to see a lot of patients.”

Gabriel, based at Ipswich Hospital, said it’s been a really positive initiative for himself, Michele and other colleagues to have been through the seven-month training programme as they can take on additional patients who need to be seen for either procedure.

He said: “I really wanted a new challenge, and as I’d already been working in endoscopy and liked it, I jumped at the opportunity to improve my skills.”

Michele Boffardi and Ana Petre
Michele Boffardi and colleague Ana Petre, another nurse endoscopist at the Trust

Michele and Gabriel join several other new nurse endoscopists working across the Trust: Ana Petre, Mario Macedo, Kelly Turner, Julie Brazier and Helen Sewell.

Gabriel said there are many reasons patients may need either procedure, with blood in poo, vomiting blood, abdominal pain, reflux, consistent diarrhoea or losing weight among some of the reasons they may have been referred.

Michele Boffardi
Michele Boffardi (without PPE in non-clinical area)

A colonoscopy is a check to investigate what is happening in your bowel, often performed with a tube carrying a camera. A gastroscopy is a similar procedure investigating the stomach and small intestine.

Gabriel added: “Patients are naturally worried when they come for the procedure. They want to know what’s going on and to be able to have some answers. It’s really great when we can put their mind at rest or give some explanation to what is happening.”

Michele added: “The gastroscopy procedure takes a few minutes and patients are given a local anaesthetic before. I work with two other nurses and health care assistants. We can take biopsies during the procedure too for further examination.”

Gabriel said he loves the new role, helping care for patients in a job that means every day is different.

Anyone experiencing any of the following symptoms should speak to their GP: blood in your poo or vomiting blood, having persistent abdominal pain or diarrhoea, reflux, losing weight unexpectedly, having a change to your bowel habits, feel particularly bloated, struggle swallowing, feeling a lump in your tummy or feeling unusually tired or lacking in energy.

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