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Keywords:

  • Advanced nursing practice;
  • Bladder cancer;
  • Cystoscopy;
  • Education and practice development;
  • Nurse-led clinics;
  • Practice development

Abstract

Flexible cystoscopy utilizes a fibre-optic scope with a light source to examine the internal surfaces of the bladder and urethra. The procedure is undertaken to investigate and diagnose the cause of lower urinary tract symptoms. It is also used extensively to detect the recurrence of bladder tumours in people diagnosed with transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder and kidney. In the UK, the advent of flexible cystoscopy clinics undertaken by appropriately trained and supervised nurses has been one way of improving provision of a flexible cystoscopy service. Information from published literature informed the decision to establish a nurse-led flexible cystoscopy clinic at one large District Health Board in New Zealand. This article reviews the current body of knowledge on nurse-led flexible cystoscopy, focusing on the education and training required to prepare nurses for independent cystoscopy practice. Literature findings are discussed, along with the observations of a urology nurse specialist undertaking flexible cystoscopy training in New Zealand and anecdotal evidence from visits with nurse cystoscopists in England during 2006. Carefully designed research studies published in literature have a key role to play in augmenting the body of evidence around this relatively new area of nursing practice, and as such should be strongly encouraged in both countries. It is recommended that nurse cystoscopy training and competencies are standardized and adopted internationally in order to increase the transferability of findings from research on the clinical outcomes of nurses performing nurse-led flexible cystoscopy.