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Q&A with Kristine Barman, SGNA President

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | April 07, 2017
From the April 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

HCB News: What items top your members’ wish list?
Our members want to be informed on industry news and what is new in the GI community. SGNA promotes our scholars and fellows in research directed in the areas where our members need information to define and support their practice.

HCB News: Do you anticipate any big changes in the role SGNA plays in coming years?
I think SGNA will continue to be a voice and resource for GI nursing, and our role continues to grow. We’ve worked with partners including the CDC and FDA, which is making SGNA an even stronger advocate for our patients.

HCB News: Do you anticipate the repeal of the ACA will impact members, and if so, how?
Working in a large teaching institution, I personally didn’t notice a lot of change when the ACA was introduced, so I’m not sure how much impact the repeal would have for my workplace specifically. I think it is too early to tell in regard to the repeal, but SGNA will always support legislative efforts that increase access to screening and care. SGNA has been part of the initiative to have 80 percent of the population get screened by 2020.

HCB News: What’s your prediction for how the field of gastroenterology will change in the next 10 years?
I think that as technology advances, there may be different tests that will be less invasive. Probably some new diagnostic that can provide screening. It’s possible that we could have someone send in a stool sample and get it analyzed to let them know if they should take the next step and get a colonoscopy.

HCB News: There have been debates about screening turning up a lot of results that may not become cancerous if left untreated. Is that still a big topic?
The focus has shifted over the years. Today, we’re looking for flat polyps which are harder to find, but more likely to turn into cancer. Fortunately, our equipment has improved to better assist in finding these polyps.

HCB News: Are there enough gastroenterology professionals working today? Is that trending up or down?
We don’t have comprehensive data, but nursing has always interested those people attracted to caring. Today, not everyone plans to stay in the same career over the course of his or her life. People don’t hesitate to go back to school to acquire the knowledge they need to change careers. But even in our field, there are more mature students willing to make a career change into nursing.

HCB News: Are there any other developments you’d like to discuss?
It’s an exciting time in terms of gastroenterology. Many new technologies are being used. Our Infection Prevention Champions program is still evolving and improving in terms of releasing the newest information to our members. Our guidelines are being reviewed and updated. Our fellows and scholars programs and research are pointing us forward. SGNA will continue to serve nurses and practitioners not only in the hospital setting, but beyond in places like inflammatory bowel disease practices and ambulatory centers. We are a home to all GI professionals, and we are very proud to be GI.

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