10 Ileostomy & Colostomy Nursing Care Plans

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Definitions

An ileostomy is an opening constructed in the terminal ileum to treat regional and ulcerative colitis and to divert intestinal contents in colon cancer, polyps, and trauma. It is usually done when the entire colon, rectum, and anus must be removed, in which case the ileostomy is permanent. A temporary ileostomy is done to provide complete bowel rest in conditions such as chronic colitis and in some trauma cases.

colostomy is a diversion of the effluent of the colon and may be temporary or permanent. Ascending, transverse, and sigmoid colostomies may be performed. Transverse colostomy is usually temporary. A sigmoid colostomy is the most common permanent stoma, usually performed for cancer treatment.

Nursing Priorities

  1. Assist patient/SO in psychosocial adjustment.
  2. Prevent complications.
  3. Support independence in self-care.
  4. Provide information about procedure/prognosis, treatment needs, potential complications, and community resources.

Discharge Goals

  1. Adjusting to perceived/actual changes.
  2. Complications prevented/minimized.
  3. Self-care needs met by self/with assistance depending on specific situation.
  4. Procedure/prognosis, therapeutic regimen, potential complications understood and sources of support identified.
  5. Plan in place to meet needs after discharge.

Nursing Care Plans

Here are 10 nursing care plans for fecal diversions: colostomy and ileostomy nursing care plans.

Risk for Impaired Skin Integrity

NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Skin Integrity, risk for impaired

Risk factors may include

  • Absence of sphincter at stoma
  • Character/flow of effluent and flatus from stoma
  • Reaction to product/chemicals; improper fitting/care of appliance/skin

Possibly evidenced by

  • [Not applicable; presence of signs and symptoms establishes an actual diagnosis.]

Desired Outcomes

  • Maintain skin integrity around stoma.
  • Identify individual risk factors.
  • Demonstrate behaviors/techniques to promote healing/prevent skin breakdown.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
 Inspect stoma/peristomal skin area with each pouch change. Note irritation, bruises (dark, bluish color), rashes  Monitors healing process/effectiveness of appliances and identifies areas of concern, need for further evaluation/intervention. Early identification of stomal necrosis/ischemia or fungal infection (from changes in normal bowel flora) provides for timely interventions to prevent serious complications. Stoma should be red and moist. Ulcerated areas on stoma may be from a pouch opening that is too small or a faceplate that cuts into stoma. In patients with an ileostomy, the effluent is rich in enzymes, increasing the likelihood of skin irritation. In patient with a colostomy, skin care is not as great a concern because the enzymes are no longer present in the effluent.
 Clean with warm water and pat dry. Use soap only if area is covered with sticky stool. If paste has collected on the skin, let it dry, then peel it off.  Maintaining a clean/dry area helps prevent skin breakdown.
 Measure stoma periodically, e.g., at least weekly for first 6 wk, then once a month for 6 mo. Measure both width and length of stoma.  As postoperative edema resolves (during first 6 wk), the stoma shrinks and size of appliance must be altered to ensure proper fit so that effluent is collected as it flows from the ostomy and contact with the skin is prevented.
 Verify that opening on adhesive backing of pouch is at least 1⁄16 to 1⁄8 in (2–3 mm) larger than the base of the stoma, with adequate adhesiveness left to apply pouch.  Prevents trauma to the stoma tissue and protects the peristomal skin. Adequate adhesive area prevents the skin barrier wafer from being too tight. Note: Too tight a fit may cause stomal edema or stenosis.
 Use a transparent, odor-proof drainable pouch.  A transparent appliance during first 4–6 wk allows easy observation of stoma without necessity of removing pouch/irritating skin.
 Apply appropriate skin barrier, e.g., hydrocolloid wafer, karaya gun, extended-wear skin barrier, or similar products.  Protects skin from pouch adhesive, enhances adhesiveness of pouch, and facilitates removal of pouch when necessary. Note: Sigmoid colostomy may not require use of a skin barrier once stool becomes formed and elimination is regulated through irrigation.
 Empty, irrigate, and cleanse ostomy pouch on a routine basis, using appropriate equipment.  Frequent pouch changes are irritating to the skin and should be avoided. Emptying and rinsing the pouch with the proper solution not only removes bacteria and odor-causing stool and flatus but also deodorizes the pouch.
 Support surrounding skin when gently removing appliance. Apply adhesive removers as indicated, then wash thoroughly.  Prevents tissue irritation/destruction associated with “pulling” pouch off.
Investigate reports of burning/itching/blistering around stoma.  Indicative of effluent leakage with peristomal irritation, or possibly Candida infection, requiring intervention.
 Evaluate adhesive product and appliance fit on ongoing basis.  Provides opportunity for problem solving. Determines need for further intervention.
 Consult with certified wound, ostomy, continence nurse.  Helpful in choosing products appropriate for patient’s particular rehabilitation needs, including type of ostomy, physical/mental status, abilities to handle self-care, and financial resources.
Apply corticosteroid aerosol spray and prescribed antifungal powder as indicated. Assists in healing if peristomal irritation persists/fungal infection develops. Note: These products can have potent side effects and should be used sparingly.

Disturbed Body Image

NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Body Image, disturbed

May be related to

  • Biophysical: presence of stoma; loss of control of bowel elimination
  • Psychosocial: altered body structure
  • Disease process and associated treatment regimen, e.g., cancer, colitis

Possibly evidenced by

  • Verbalization of change in body image, fear of rejection/reaction of others, and negative feelings about body
  • Actual change in structure and/or function (ostomy)
  • Not touching/looking at stoma, refusal to participate in care

Desired Outcomes

  • Verbalize acceptance of self in situation, incorporating change into self-concept without negating self-esteem.
  • Demonstrate beginning acceptance by viewing/touching stoma and participating in self-care.
  • Verbalize feelings about stoma/illness; begin to deal constructively with situation.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
 Ascertain whether support and counseling were initiated when the possibility and/or necessity of ostomy was first discussed.  Provides information about patient’s/SO’s level of knowledge and anxiety about individual situation.
 Encourage patient/SO to verbalize feelings regarding the ostomy. Acknowledge normality of feelings of anger, depression, and grief over loss. Discuss daily “ups and downs” that can occur.  Helps patient realize that feelings are not unusual and that feeling guilty about them is not necessary/helpful. Patient needs to recognize feelings before they can be dealt with effectively.
 Review reason for surgery and future expectations. Patient may find it easier to accept/deal with an ostomy done to correct chronic/long-term disease than for traumatic injury, even if ostomy is only temporary. Also, patient who will be undergoing a second procedure (to convert ostomy to a continent or anal reservoir) may possibly encounter less severe self-image problems because body function eventually will be “more normal.”
 Note behaviors of withdrawal, increased dependency, manipulation, or noninvolvement in care. Suggestive of problems in adjustment that may require further evaluation and more extensive therapy.
 Provide opportunities for patient/SO to view and touch stoma, using the moment to point out positive signs of healing, normal appearance, and so forth. Remind patient that it will take time to adjust, both physically and emotionally. Although integration of stoma into body image can take months or even years, looking at the stoma and hearing comments (made in a normal, matter-of-fact manner) can help patient with this acceptance. Touching stoma reassures patient/SO that it is not fragile and that slight movements of stoma actually reflect normal peristalsis.
 Provide opportunity for patient to deal with ostomy through participation in self-care. Independence in self-care helps improve self-confidence and acceptance of situation.
 Plan/schedule care activities with patient. Promotes sense of control and gives message that patient can handle situation, enhancing self-concept.
 Maintain positive approach during care activities, avoiding expressions of disdain or revulsion. Do not take angry expressions of patient/SO personally. Assists patient/SO to accept body changes and feel all right about self. Anger is most often directed at the situation and lack of control individual has over what has happened (powerlessness), not with the individual caregiver.
 Ascertain patient’s desire to visit with a person with an ostomy. Make arrangements for visit, if desired.  A person who is living with an ostomy can be a good support system/role model. Helps reinforce teaching (shared experiences) and facilitates acceptance of change as patient realizes “life does go on” and can be relatively normal.

Acute Pain

NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Pain, acute

May be related to

  • Physical factors: e.g., disruption of skin/tissues (incisions/drains)
  • Biological: activity of disease process (cancer, trauma)
  • Psychological factors: e.g., fear, anxiety

Possibly evidenced by

  • Reports of pain, self-focusing
  • Guarding/distraction behaviors, restlessness
  • Autonomic responses, e.g., changes in vital signs

Desired Outcomes

  • Verbalize that pain is relieved/controlled.
  • Display relief of pain, able to sleep/rest appropriately
  • Demonstrate use of relaxation skills and general comfort measures as indicated for individual situation.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
 Assess pain, noting location, characteristics, intensity (0–10 scale). Helps evaluate degree of discomfort and effectiveness of analgesia or may reveal developing complications. Because abdominal pain usually subsides gradually by the third or fourth postoperative day, continued or increasing pain may reflect delayed healing or peristomal skin irritation. Note:Pain in anal area associated with abdominal-perineal resection may persist for months.
 Encourage patient to verbalize concerns. Active-listen these concerns, and provide support by acceptance, remaining with patient, and giving appropriate information.  Reduction of anxiety/fear can promote relaxation/comfort.
 Provide comfort measures, e.g., mouth care, back rub, repositioning (use proper support measures as needed). Assure patient that position change will not injure stoma. Prevents drying of oral mucosa and associated discomfort. Reduces muscle tension, promotes relaxation, and may enhance coping abilities.
 Encourage use of relaxation techniques, e.g., guided imagery, visualization. Provide diversional activities. Helps patient rest more effectively and refocuses attention, thereby reducing pain and discomfort.
 Assist with ROM exercises and encourage early ambulation. Avoid prolonged sitting position. Reduces muscle/joint stiffness. Ambulation returns organs to normal position and promotes return of usual level of functioning. Note: Presence of edema, packing, and drains (if perineal resection has been done) increases discomfort and creates a sense of needing to defecate. Ambulation and frequent position changes reduce perineal pressure.
 Investigate and report abdominal muscle rigidity, involuntary guarding, and rebound tenderness.  Suggestive of peritoneal inflammation, which requires prompt medical intervention.
 Administer medication as indicated, e.g., narcotics, analgesics, patient-controlled analgesia (PCA).  Relieves pain, enhances comfort, and promotes rest. PCA may be more beneficial, especially following anal-perineal repair.
 Provide sitz baths.  Relieves local discomfort, reduces edema, and promotes healing of perineal wound.
 Apply/monitor effects of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) unit.  Cutaneous stimulation may be used to block transmission of pain stimulus.

Impaired Skin Integrity

NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Skin/Tissue Integrity, impaired

May be related to

  • Invasion of body structure (e.g., perineal resection)
  • Stasis of secretions/drainage
  • Altered circulation, edema; malnutrition

Possibly evidenced by

  • Disruption of skin/tissue: presence of incision and sutures, drains

Desired Outcomes

  • Achieve timely wound healing free of signs of infection.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
 Observe wounds, note characteristics of drainage.  Postoperative hemorrhage is most likely to occur during first 48 hr, whereas infection may develop at any time. Depending on type of wound closure (e.g., first or second intention), complete healing may take 6-8 mo.
 Change dressings as needed using aseptic technique  Large amounts of serous drainage require that dressings be changed frequently to reduce skin irritation and potential for infection.
 Encourage side-lying position with head elevated. Avoid prolonged sitting.  Promotes drainage from perineal wound/drains, reducing risk of pooling. Prolonged sitting increases perineal pressure, reducing circulation to wound, and may delay healing.
 Irrigate wound as indicated, using normal saline (NS), diluted hydrogen peroxide, or antibiotic solution.  May be required to treat preoperative inflammation/infection or intraoperative contamination.
 Provide sitz baths.  Promotes cleanliness and facilitates healing, especially after packing is removed (usually day 3–5).

Deficient Fluid Volume

NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Fluid Volume, risk for deficient

Risk factors may include

  • Excessive losses through normal routes, e.g., preoperative emesis and diarrhea; high-volume ileostomy output
  • Losses through abnormal routes, e.g., NG/intestinal tube, perineal wound drainage tubes
  • Medically restricted intake
  • Altered absorption of fluid, e.g., loss of colon function
  • Hypermetabolic states, e.g., inflammation, healing process

Possibly evidenced by

  • [Not applicable; presence of signs and symptoms establishes an actual diagnosis.]

Desired Outcomes

  • Maintain adequate hydration as evidenced by moist mucous membranes, good skin turgor and capillary refill, stable vital signs, and individually appropriate urinary output.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
 Monitor intake and output (I&O) carefully, measure liquid stool. Weigh regularly.  Provides direct indicators of fluid balance. Greatest fluid losses occur with ileostomy, but they generally do not exceed 500–800 mL/day.
 Monitor vital signs, noting postural hypotension, tachycardia. Evaluate skin turgor, capillary refill, and mucous membranes.  Reflects hydration status/possible need for increased fluid replacement.
 Limit intake of ice chips during period of gastric intubation.  Ice chips can stimulate gastric secretions and wash out electrolytes.
 Monitor laboratory results, e.g., Hct and electrolytes  Detects homeostasis or imbalance, and aids in determining replacement needs
 Administer IV fluid and electrolytes as indicated.  May be necessary to maintain adequate tissue perfusion/organ function.

Imbalanced Nutrition

NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Nutrition: imbalanced, risk for less than body requirements

Risk factors may include

  • Prolonged anorexia/altered intake preoperatively
  • Hypermetabolic state (preoperative inflammatory disease; healing process)
  • Presence of diarrhea/altered absorption
  • Restriction of bulk and residue-containing foods

Possibly evidenced by

  • [Not applicable; presence of signs and symptoms establishes an actual diagnosis.]

Desired Outcomes

  • Maintain weight/demonstrate progressive weight gain toward goal with normalization of laboratory values and be free of signs of malnutrition.
  • Plan diet to meet nutritional needs/limit GI disturbances.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
 Obtain a thorough nutritional assessment.  Identifies deficiencies/needs to aid in choice of interventions.
 Auscultate bowel sounds.  Return of intestinal function indicates readiness to resume oral intake.
Resume solid foods slowly.  Reduces incidence of abdominal cramps, nausea.
Identify odor-causing foods (e.g., cabbage, fish, beans) and temporarily restrict from diet. Gradually reintroduce one food at a time.  Sensitivity to certain foods is not uncommon following intestinal surgery. Patient can experiment with food several times before determining whether it is creating a problem.
 Recommend patient increase use of yogurt, buttermilk, and acidophilus preparations.  May help prevent gas and decrease odor formation.
 Suggest patient with ileostomy limit prunes, dates, stewed apricots, strawberries, grapes, bananas, cabbage family, beans, and avoid foods high in cellulose, e.g., peanuts.  These products increase ileal effluent. Digestion of cellulose requires colon bacteria that are no longer present.
 Discuss mechanics of swallowed air as a factor in the formation of flatus and some ways patient can exercise control.  Drinking through a straw, snoring, anxiety, smoking, ill-fitting dentures, and gulping down food increase the production of flatus. Too much flatus not only necessitates frequent emptying, but also can cause leakage from too much pressure within the pouch.

Sexual Dysfunction

NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Sexual Dysfunction, risk for

Risk factors may include

  • Altered body structure/function; radical resection/treatment procedures
  • Vulnerability/psychological concern about response of SO
  • Disruption of sexual response pattern, e.g., erectile difficulty

Possibly evidenced by

  • [Not applicable; presence of signs and symptoms establishes an actual diagnosis.]

DESIRED OUTCOMES/EVALUATION CRITERIA—PATIENT WILL:

  • Verbalize understanding of relationship of physical condition to sexual problems.
  • Identify satisfying/acceptable sexual practices and explore alternative methods.
  • Resume sexual relationship as appropriate.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
 Determine patient’s/SO’s sexual relationship before the disease and/or surgery and whether they anticipate problems related to presence of ostomy.  Identifies future expectations and desires. Mutilation and loss of privacy/control of a bodily function can affect patient’s view of personal sexuality. When coupled with the fear of rejection by SO, the desired level of intimacy can be greatly impaired. Sexual needs are very basic, and patient will be rehabilitated more successfully when a satisfying sexual relationship is continued/developed as desired.
 Review with patient/SO sexual functioning in relation to own situation.  Understanding if nerve damage has altered normal sexual functioning (e.g., erection) helps patient/SO to understand the need for exploring alternative methods of satisfaction.
 Reinforce information given by the physician. Encourage questions. Provide additional information as needed.  Reiteration of data previously given assists patient/SO to hear and process the knowledge again, moving toward acceptance of individual limitations/restrictions and prognosis (e.g., that it may take up to 2 yr to regain potency after a radical procedure or that a penile prosthesis may be necessary).
 Discuss likelihood of resumption of sexual activity in approximately 6 wk after discharge, beginning slowly and progressing (e.g., cuddling/caressing until both partners are comfortable with body image/function changes). Include alternative methods of stimulation as appropriate.  Knowing what to expect in progress of recovery helps patient avoid performance anxiety/reduce risk of “failure.” If the couple is willing to try new ideas, this can assist with adjustment and may help to achieve sexual fulfillment.
 Encourage dialogue between partners. Suggest wearing pouch cover, T-shirt, shortie nightgown, or underwear sexual activity.  Disguising ostomy appliance may aid in reducing feelings of self-consciousness, embarrassment during specifically designed for sexual contact.
 Stress awareness of factors that might be distracting (e.g., unpleasant odors and pouch leakage). Encourage use of sense of humor.  Promotes resolution of solvable problems. Laughter can help individuals deal more effectively with difficult situation, promote positive sexual experience.
 Problem-solve alternative positions for coitus.  Minimizing awkwardness of appliance and physical discomfort can enhance satisfaction.
 Discuss/role-play possible interactions or approaches when dealing with new sexual partners.  Rehearsal is helpful in dealing with actual situations when they arise, preventing self-consciousness about “different” body image.
 Provide birth control information as appropriate and stress that impotence does not necessarily mean patient is sterile.  Confusion may exist that can lead to an unwanted pregnancy.
 Arrange meeting with an ostomy visitor if appropriate.  Sharing of how these problems have been resolved by others can be helpful and reduce sense of isolation.
 Refer to counseling/sex therapy as indicated.  If problems persist longer than several months after surgery, a trained therapist may be required to facilitate communication between patient and SO.

Disturbed Sleep Pattern

NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Sleep Pattern, disturbed

May be related to

  • External factors: necessity of ostomy care, excessive flatus/ostomy effluent
  • Internal factors: psychological stress, fear of leakage of pouch/injury to stoma

Possibly evidenced by

  • Verbalizations of interrupted sleep, not feeling well rested
  • Changes in behavior, e.g., irritability, listlessness/lethargy

Desired Outcomes

  • Sleep/rest between disturbances.
  • Report increased sense of well-being and feeling rested.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
 Explain necessity to monitor intestinal function in early postoperative period.  Patient is more apt to be tolerant of disturbances by staff if he or she understands the reasons for/importance of care.
 Provide adequate pouching system. Empty pouch before retiring and, if necessary, on a preagreed schedule.  Excessive flatus/effluent can occur despite interventions. Emptying on a regular schedule minimizes threat of leakage.
 Let patient know that stoma will not be injured when sleeping.  Patient will be able to rest better if feeling secure about stoma and ostomy function.
 Restrict intake of caffeine-containing foods/fluids.  Caffeine may delay patient’s falling asleep and interfere with REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, resulting in patient not feeling well rested.
 Support continuation of usual bedtime rituals.  Promotes relaxation and readiness for sleep.
 Determine cause of excessive flatus or effluent, e.g., confer with dietitian regarding restriction of foods if diet-related.  Identification of cause enables institution of corrective measures that may promote sleep/rest.
 Administer analgesics, sedatives at bedtime as indicated  Pain can interfere with patient’s ability to fall/remain asleep. Timely medication can enhance rest/sleep during initial postoperative period. Note: Pain pathways in the brain lie near the sleep center and may contribute to wakefulness.

Constipation/Diarrhea

NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Constipation/Diarrhea, risk for

Risk factors may include

  • Placement of ostomy in descending or sigmoid colon
  • Inadequate diet/fluid intake

Possibly evidenced by

  • [Not applicable; presence of signs and symptoms establishes an actual diagnosis.]

Desired Outcomes

  • Establish an elimination pattern suitable to physical needs and lifestyle with effluent of appropriate amount and consistency.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
 Ascertain patient’s previous bowel habits and lifestyle.  Assists in formulation of a timely/effective irrigating schedule for patient with a colostomy, if appropriate.
 Investigate delayed onset/absence of effluent. Auscultate bowel sounds.  Postoperative paralytic/adynamic ileus usually resolves within 48–72 hr, and ileostomy should begin draining within 12–24 hr. Delay may indicate persistent ileus or stomal obstruction, which may occur postoperatively because of edema, improperly fitting pouch (too tight), prolapse, or stenosis of the stoma.
 Inform patient with an ileostomy that initially the effluent is liquid. If constipation occurs, it should be reported to enterostomal nurse or physician.  Although the small intestine eventually begins to take on water-absorbing functions to permit a more semisolid, pasty discharge, constipation may indicate an obstruction.Absence of stool requires emergency medical attention.
 Review dietary pattern and amount/type of fluid intake.  Adequate intake of fiber and roughage provides bulk, and fluid is an important factor in determining the consistency of the stool.
 Review physiology of the colon and discuss irrigation management of sigmoid ostomy, if appropriate.  This knowledge helps patient understand individual care needs.
 Demonstrate use of irrigation equipment per institution policy or under guidance of physician or certified wound, ostomy, continence nurse.  Irrigations may be done on a daily basis if appropriate, although there are differing views on this practice. Many believe cleaning the bowel on a regular basis is helpful. Others believe that this interferes with normal functioning. (Most authorities agree that occasional irrigation is useful for emptying the bowel to avoid leakage when special events are planned.)
 Instruct patient in the use of closed-end pouch or a patch, dressing/Band-Aid when irrigation is successful and the sigmoid colostomy effluent becomes more manageable, with stool expelled every 24 hr.  Enables patient to feel more comfortable socially and is less expensive than regular ostomy pouches.
 Involve patient in care of the ostomy on an increasing basis.  Rehabilitation can be facilitated by encouraging patient independence and control.
 Instruct in use of TENS unit if indicated.  Electrical stimulation has been used in some patients to stimulate peristalsis and relieve postoperative ileus.

Knowledge Deficit

NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Knowledge, deficient [Learning Need] regarding condition, prognosis, treatment, self-care, and discharge needs

May be related to

  • Lack of exposure/recall information misinterpretation
  • Unfamiliarity with information resources

Possibly evidenced by

  • Questions; statement of misconception/misinformation
  • Inaccurate follow-through of instruction/performance of ostomy care
  • Inappropriate or exaggerated behaviors (e.g., hostile, agitated, apathetic, withdrawal)

Desired Outcomes

  • Verbalize understanding of condition/disease process, prognosis, and potential complications.
  • Verbalize understanding of therapeutic needs.
  • Correctly perform necessary procedures, explain reasons for the action.
  • Initiate necessary lifestyle changes.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
 Evaluate patient’s emotional, cognitive, and physical capabilities.  These factors affect patient’s ability to master care-tasks and willingness to assume responsibility for ostomy care.
 Include written/picture (photo, video, Internet) learning resources.  Provides references for obtaining support, equipment, and additional information after discharge to support patient efforts for independence in self-care.
 Review anatomy, physiology, and implications of surgical intervention. Discuss future expectations, including anticipated changes in character of effluent.  Provides knowledge base from which patient can make informed choices, and offers an opportunity to clarify misconceptions regarding individual situation. (Temporary ileostomy may be converted to ileoanal reservoir at a future date; ileostomy and ascending colostomy cannot be regulated by diet, irrigations, or medications.)
 Instruct patient/SO in stomal care. Allot time for return demonstrations and provide positive feedback for efforts.  Promotes positive management and reduces risk of improper ostomy care/development of complications.
 Recommend increased fluid intake during warm weather months.  Loss of normal colon function of conserving water and electrolytes can lead to dehydration and constipation.
 Discuss possible need to decrease salt intake.  Salt can increase ileal output, potentiating risk of dehydration and increasing frequency of ostomy care needs/patient’s inconvenience.
 Identify symptoms of electrolyte depletion, e.g., anorexia, abdominal muscle cramps, feelings of faintness or “cold” in arms/legs, general fatigue/weakness, bloating, decreased sensations in arms/legs.  Loss of colon function altering fluid/electrolyte absorption may result in sodium/potassium deficits requiring dietary correction with foods/fluids high in sodium (e.g., bouillon, Gatorade) or potassium (e.g., orange juice, prunes, tomatoes, bananas, Gatorade).
 Discuss need for periodic evaluation/administration of supplemental vitamins and minerals as appropriate.  Depending on portion and amount of bowel resected, lack of absorption may cause deficiencies.
 Stress importance of chewing food well, adequate intake of fluids with/following meals, only moderate use of high-fiber foods, avoidance of cellulose.  Reduces risk of bowel obstruction, especially in patient with ileostomy.
 Review foods that are/may be a source of flatus (e.g., carbonated drinks, beer, beans, cabbage family, onions, fish, and highly seasoned foods) or odor (e.g., onions, cabbage family, eggs, fish, and beans).  These foods may be restricted or eliminated, based on individual reaction, for better ostomy control, or it may be necessary to empty the pouch more frequently if they are ingested.
 Identify foods associated with diarrhea, such as green beans, broccoli, highly seasoned foods.  Promotes more even effluent and better control of evacuations.
Recommend foods used to manage constipation (e.g., bran, celery, raw fruits), and discuss importance of increased fluid intake. Proper management can prevent/minimize problems of constipation.
Discuss resumption of presurgery level of activity. Suggest emptying the ostomy appliance before leaving home and carrying a fanny pack with fresh supplies. Recommend resources for obtaining attractive appliances and decorative cummerbunds as appropriate. With a little planning, patient should be able to manage same degree of activity as previously enjoyed and in some cases increase activity level. A cummerbund can provide both physical and psychological support when patient is involved in activities such as tennis and swimming.
Talk about the possibility of sleep disturbance, anorexia, loss of interest in usual activities. “Homecoming depression” may occur, lasting for months after surgery, requiring patience/support and ongoing evaluation as patient adjusts to living with a stoma.
Explain necessity of notifying healthcare providers and pharmacists of type of ostomy and avoidance of sustained-release medications. Presence of ostomy may alter rate/extent of absorption of oral medications and increase risk of drug-related complications, e.g., diarrhea/constipation or peristomal excoriation. Liquid, chewable, or injectable forms of medication are preferred for patients with ileostomy to maximize absorption of drug.
Counsel patient concerning medication use and problems associated with altered bowel function. Refer to pharmacist for teaching/advice as appropriate. Patient with an ostomy has two key problems: altered disintegration and absorption of oral drugs and unusual or pronounced adverse effects. Some of the medications that these patients may respond to differently include laxatives, salicylates, H2receptor antagonists, antibiotics, and diuretics.
Discuss effect of medications on effluent, i.e., changes in color, odor, consistency of stool, and need to observe for drug residue indicating incomplete absorption Understanding decreases anxiety regarding intestinal function and enhances independence in self-care.
Stress necessity of close monitoring of chronic health conditions requiring routine oral medications. Monitoring of clinical symptoms and serum blood levels is indicated because of altered drug absorption requiring periodic dosage adjustments.

Other Nursing Care Plans

  1. Skin Integrity, risk for impaired—absence of sphincter at stoma, character/flow of effluent and flatus from stoma.
  2. Coping, ineffective—situational crises, vulnerability.
  3. Social Interaction, impaired—self-concept disturbance, concern for loss of control of bodily functions.

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