ASGNA  -  Winter 2008  -  What's The Scope

Treasurer's Report
As of January 1, 2008, ASGNA has a bank balance of $32,311.09
Submitted by Linda Waterson

Past President’s Message
Happy New Year to all!! Hope everyone is still committed to their New Year’s resolutions!

My year as President of ASGNA has come to an end. I’d like to thank all of you for your support throughout the year. We had four educational events in 2007 for a total of ten continuing education credits, and we participated in community service events to promote colon cancer awareness. All of these events were very successful due to the many dedicated nurses and associates in Arizona who were willing to give up their spare time to attend.

Cheryl Phillips as President will lead our 2008 ASGNA Board of Directors. Cheryl has been a member of SGNA since 1992 and has served as President in the past. She has many great events planned for this coming year including a booth at the Women’s Expo with the "Super Colon" to promote colon cancer awareness. Cheryl’s dedication to GI nursing and educating the community is an incredible asset to our organization.

As you have this past year, I encourage you to continue to share your ideas and desires for education. I look forward to see all of you at our 2008 events!

Carol Kirkby BSN, RN

Past President

President’s Message
WOW!! I can’t believe we are already in the second month of a new year. Time really does fly by. On January 23rd I became ASGNA’s 2008 President. I want to extend a huge Thank You to Carol Kirkby, the 2007 President, and her ASGNA Board for the dedication and work that they selflessly contributed to continue to make ASGNA a successful region.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Cheryl Phillips. I have been an endoscopy nurse since 1988 and certified since 1992. I spent my entire endoscopy career in the hospital setting until November of 2006 when I accepted a position at Central Arizona Endoscopy, a freestanding center, in Mesa. I have served on ASGNA’s Board in every capacity throughout my career and I continue to find it challenging yet very rewarding. I look forward to being your President this year.

I’m very excited about the New Year ahead of ASGNA. Of course we will continue to offer outstanding educational events throughout the year capping them off with our Annual Fall Conference. Stay tuned for dates, times and locations.

The theme of this years Annual National Conference in Salt Lake City is "The Power to Make a Difference". Those words are so true. Each and every one of us has the power to make a difference each and every day. ASGNA will continue its goal of making Colon Cancer Awareness our number one priority and each and every one of us plays a role by educating our patients and their families, our own families, our friends, and every one we meet on the importance of colon cancer screening. ASGNA is reaching out to the community to spread the word about this most important goal. We will have a booth with the Super Colon at the 2008 Women’s Expo in Glendale on April 19th – 20th. We will also be volunteering to spread the word at local Relay for Life events in April. So please get your volunteer hat on for these two events. We need your help and you DO have The Power to Make a Difference.

Hope to see you soon,


ASGNA 2007 Fa ll Conference
This year’s conference was held at the Arizona Biltmore Resort Oct. 6, 2007. We had a great response from both attendees & vendors. We had 136 attendees and 36 vendors. Without everyone’s support our Fall conferences would not be possible. Let’s give an extra hand to our Hospitality Co-Chairs, Elaine Hillebrand & Sharon Metzler for selecting. Arizona Biltmore Resort for the location & our Education Co-Chairs, Linda Dupree & Karen Connick. They all did an invaluable job.

Wilson Medical Scholarship Winner
Kathy Varela was the winner of the $250 Wilson Cook Educational Scholarship. It was awarded to further education in GI.

2008 ABCGN Examination Sites
Spring 2008: May 19, 2008 RN Certification Exam
Application Deadline: March 14, 2008
Late Application Deadline: March 28, 2008
Spring 2008: May 19, 2008 RN Certification Exam
Application Deadline: March 14, 2008
Late Application Deadline: March 28, 2008
Fall 2008: October 19, 2008 RN Certification Exam
Application Deadline: August 15, 2008
Late Application Deadline: August 27, 2008
ASGNA is working to get a site in Phoenix for 2008 if any one is interested in becoming certified.
May 16-21, 2008 - SGNA 35th Annual Course, Salt Lake City, Utah
More information regarding SGNA Annual Course to be sent after January 2008.
Website to apply for scholarships:

Product of the Month: SGNA Crossword Puzzles!
SGNA is excited to introduce a fun and innovative way to earn 3 contact hours! The SGNA Crossword Puzzles: Gastroenterology Nursing: A Clinical Review offers individuals the opportunity to participate in n a learner-directed activity that will provide 3 contact hours upon successful completion. Each crossword puzzle consists of 20 clues and contains the following content: Definition of Terms, Intravenous Therapy, Manometry, Nutritional Therapy, Pharmacology and Pulmonary Procedures and Medications. Once all six puzzles are completed just send in the puzzles along with the provided SGNA Cover Sheet to SGNA Headquarters where they will be graded. If a passing score is achieved (80%) a contact hour certificate will be sent to you. In the event an 80% score is not achieved you will have two more opportunities to successfully complete the puzzle(s). This exciting new activity can be purchased for a member price of $60 or a non-member price of $90 through the SGNA Marketplace at or you can place your order over the phone by calling 800/245-7462.

Cathy Olson Update
Thanks to everyone’s generosity at the ASGNA Fall Conference, We were able to donate $ 1,247.00 to the Cathy Olson Leukemia Fund. Great Job! Cathy received her double cord transplant 10/31/07. Cathy did well & is in good spirits. She was recently released from the hospital to go home with strict guidelines, but at least as she puts it "I’m in my own home." Cathy will be making several visits a week to her doctor to make sure everything keeps going well. This is truly a miracle & the support from her ASGNA family is greatly appreciated.

GI Nurses Day
GI nurses day is coming up March 26, 2008 and the ASGNA board would like to recognize an individual as GI Nurse of the Year.
Nominate yourself or someone else.
  • SGNA member
  • Minimum of 2 years GI nursing
  • Need to be CRGN
Submit an essay that includes " Why should this person be GI Nurse of the Year, committee experience ( ASGNA, SGNA ,ABCGN),work experience. Maximum 250 words. Email essay to Cheryl Phillips at: Deadline is 3/10/2008. Prize for the winner will be a plaque & $500 to be used towards a SGNA annual conference. (Registration, hotel &/or air fare) You must submit receipts for reimbursement.

Buddy Bracelets
ASGNA has purchased Buddy Bracelets again this year for GI Nurses Day. Pass the out to remind people to have a colonoscopy. Email Cheryl Phillips @ with the number of bracelets your GI Dept will need.

Hilighting Chandler Regional Medical Center
Chandler Regional Medical Center’s endoscopy unit is a self-contained Endoscopy unit that admits the patient, performs procedures, and recovers the patient, enhancing continuity of care. Of late, a fourth procedure room has been added in response to physician competition for procedure rooms and all eight admit and recovery bays are being utilized. We see approximately 400 patients per month. Our goal is excellence in customer service.

Our team consists of a director, a clinical supervisor, 12 RNs and 4 full-time endo techs. We offer a variety of services including EGD, colonoscopy, ERCP, BRAVO pH monitoring, and Bronchoscopy. Recently two physicians have joined our hospital staff that is proficient in endoscopic ultrasound. We have begun to offer this patient service as of June and we are the only facility in the Southeast Valley to perform EUS. In July, a pediatric gastroenterologist joined our staff and we are now doing pediatric cases with anesthesia in the endoscopy suite. A challenge to the staff has been obtaining all the education necessary to meet our new patient population’s needs.

As are many hospital based endoscopy units are experiencing, we expect a decline in patient visits within the next year as physicians continue to open their own endo centers. In addition, we may expand our scope by adding some non-GI services.

We are a team-oriented department with many of our nurses and techs, striving to increase their knowledge base and the knowledge base of others. Four of our nurses have returned to academia to obtain advanced degrees, thanks to a program the hospital has in conjunction with one of the local universities. Three of our techs have entered college to obtain degrees and many of our nurses are involved with the career ladder program offered at Chandler Regional Medical Center. Membership in the SGNA is encouraged, as is certification. To date, two of the RNs have certified in GI nursing and most nurses are members of SGNA. This year and last we have worked to spread the news about colon cancer awareness by a display and demonstration of what we do in the endoscopy unit in the hospital lobby. Our nurses and techs have been proactive in community health by presenting programs to high school students interested in health careers and elementary school students on healthy habits. Nursing students from the local universities and colleges rotate through our unit on a regular basis and report a very beneficial experience.

Chandler Regional Medical Center has a cohesive team of endoscopy nurses and techs who really enjoy working with each other. Our focus is excellent patient care and service to our community, which champions our hospital’s mission.

Great Job Chandler Regional Medical Center!

Continue to let us know about your GI/Endoscopy Center so that we can highlight and learn about the various centers around the state.

We would also like to highlight individuals working in the GI field. Please submit information about yourself or a co-worker who would like the rest of the ASGNA family to know more about them.

ASGNA Educational Proposals
A vote was held at the annual ASGNA course, seeking membership preferences for our educational meetings. The winning options are:
Fall Conference
Option 1: All day Saturday, maximum 6 CEUs
Quarterly Educational Meetings  
Option 2: Saturday AM, alternating Flagstaff/Tucson/Prescott, maximum 2-4 CEUs
We had a great turnout at our fall course with over 140 in attendance and 6 CEUs awarded. All evaluations have been read and the input will be used for planning the next conference . Any suggestions for topics will be greatly appreciated. 

Education Co-chairs:  

Linda Dupree, MSN, CGRN
Karen Connick, BS, CGRN

Community Service
ASGNA continues to support colon cancer awareness. We will have a booth at the Women’s Expo April 19th & 20th at the University of Phoenix stadium. We will have the "Super Colon" for everyone to go through and passing out brochures reminding everyone about cancer awareness. It will be open 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. 4/19 & 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 4/20. We need 4 volunteers to work 2-hour shifts. Anyone interested contact Cheryl Phillips at

Crohns and Colitis Walk
It is being held May 10, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium. We will have a booth & will be passing out colon fact cards. We will need volunteers to help with this event. Anyone interested contact Cheryl Phillips at

ASGNA 2008 Educational Offerings to be Announced