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Br J Nurs. 2007 Mar 22-Apr 11;16(6):351-5.

Clinical skills: bowel elimination and management of complications.

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Faculty of Health and Social Science, University of Bedfordshire, Aylesbury Vale Education Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Buckinghamshire.


Bowel elimination is a basic bodily function that most people carry out in private and are often embarrassed to discuss publicly. Nurses will encounter patients with bowel elimination issues in all areas of care. Knowledge and understanding of both normal function and the problems that can occur with that process will enable nurses to support and care for patients with bowel elimination problems. This article discusses the normal anatomy and physiology of elimination, problems, such as faecal incontinence, diarrhoea and constipation, and the nurse's role in their management. The importance of empathy, understanding, knowledge and consent is highlighted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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