Performing bowel care is not for the light-hearted by any means. However, having a bowel movement is a part of every day life, and if its not, you need to consult your PCP.
Specilized bowel care is mainly for individuals who cannot go on their own or have issues with it due to the types of meds they take, or a medical condition such as “neurogenic bowel”.
Before the instructions come, there are a few things you must know and certain precautions you must take.
- -clip your fingernails.
- -use lubrication
- -let them know exactly what you are doing it right before you do it so they are prepared
Those are the most important tips i can give you.
Starting Bowel Care
Now it is better to roll them on thier left side as the way the intestines are laid out, it make passing the stool a lot easier. clean the area of entry as you dont want to push anything up into the rectum. lubricate your finger that you will be using for digital stimulation. Do what i call a “test prod”. This will let you know how close the stool is to the exit ramp.
If the stool is right there, you will have to use the scooping method to scoop the stool out so you have enough spacing to insert the suppository.
Note: suppositories only work when it is exposed to the bowel wall. If it is trapped in the stool, then it wont work because your bowel walls need to absorb the suppository to make the stool pass.
Once you are ready to continue and insert the suppository, it is my suggestion to change the gloves.
You will then lubricate the end of the suppository and insert it making sure you are not lodging it in the stool.
It may take some time.
I would check after 15-20 minutes and do what is called digital stimulation or “manual stimulation”.
You will need to lube your finger and press the pad of your finger against the wall of the bowel and massage in a circle motion keeping pressure against the walls of the bowels. Do not push, but keep light pressure.
Once the stool has passed, do another test prod to ensure all the stool has passed. After this change your gloves again. If there is more stool, use another round of digital stimulation to try and coax out the rest of the stool.
You will need wipes to do the cleanup and do the perineal care. also perineal cleanser is great. Make sure to go front to back.
Roll absorbent pad towards yourself and fold the ends inwards and discard it. roll out another padtucking the far end under the individual. Roll the individual on thier back then the other way to roll the pad the rest of the way then back on thier back.
Now you have completed one round of bowel care. Bowel care can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 4 hours.
Bowel is not the hardest thing you tend to do as a caregiver, but it is dirty and you need to be careful as to not introduce more bacteria to the rectum. You must also be mindful of possible hemorrhoids and lesions at the rectum entry and on the inside. Ways to know that you have just busted a hemorrhoid is the way the blood looks. If it is BRIGHT red, that’s a sign. Actually its the main sign. So be careful of hemorrhoids and lesions.
Soon I will be covering catheter care, so stay tuned!