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LEARNING BLOG

New free-access unit tackles an intimate subject

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If you asked a sample of patients what type of health issue they find the most embarrassing, bowel problems would probably come pretty high up the list.

We are therefore delighted to launch our newest learning unit, Diarrhoea: Assessment and Management, written by Veronica Hall and Helen Coombes, authors of the RCN’s new guidelines on the subject.

The unit was developed with the support of an unrestricted educational grant from Danone Health Affairs, so it is free to access for all registered users of nursingtimes.net – most units are only free to subscribers. This complements our existing unit Advances in Constipation Treatment, which is also free for all registered users thanks to an unrestricted educational grant from Shire Pharmaceuticals.

Diarrhoea and constipation are both common problems, and both are unpleasant and embarrassing for people in otherwise good health. So how much worse must it be for those who are unable to care for their own toileting needs – whether due to illness or immobility? And while both diarrhoea and constipation are usually acute and easily resolved, for some groups they can be dangerous in themselves, and they can also be a signal of serious uaanderlying disease.

Ensuring patients’ bowel care needs are met is one of the most essential, and intimate, elements of nursing – and can make an enormous difference to the quality of patients’ experience of care.

Careful assessment and appropriate management of diarrhoea and constipation are crucial to ensure underlying conditions are identified quickly, promote quick recovery and maintain patient dignity. We hope our units will help you to give your patients effective and sensitive bowel care.

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