Quality of training in endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) for nurse assistants: a survey

Elizabeth Ratcliffe, Anirudh Bhandare, Shanil Kadir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatoscopy (ERCP) is a technical and complex procedure requiring highly skilled and trained endoscopists and assistants. Literature so far has highlighted a need for better training for assistants of ERCP, as well as linking the volumes of procedures performed to improved success rates and reduced complication rates.


A survey was undertaken of 51 ERCP nurse assistants' experience of training in ERCP from district general, teaching and tertiary hospitals in the UK. Nursing assistants are registered nurses with endoscopy skills or nursing practitioners of band 4 and above with experience in ERCP.


Of those surveyed, 93% had undertaken fewer than 50 procedures supervised by experienced nurse assistants prior to being deemed competent, with 63% having performed fewer than 25 procedures. Only 40% felt confident at independently assisting. Attending formal training had little impact on this, but did improve confidence in out-of-hours work. Participants' main suggestions for training were a course involving familiarisation with equipment, close supervision and anatomy training.


There is a lack of guidance on the correct training and experience required for nurse assistants. This survey's findings suggest many are commencing independent practice feeling underprepared. More work needs to be done to improve the quality of nurse training and support their learning, and further studies are needed to look into the impact this has on patient outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S10-S16
Number of pages7
JournalGastrointestinal Nursing
Issue numberSup8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Quality of training in endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) for nurse assistants: a survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this