Nursing Studies - Clinical Skills: The Digestive System - Revised

Learn how to properly care for patients with gastrointestinal illnesses, with this free online nursing course.

Free Course
This course will teach you the knowledge and skills you need for providing effective care to patients who are experiencing gastrointestinal difficulties. The course will guide you through proteins, carbohydrates, and fatty acids and show you how food is broken down to provide fuel for the body's metabolism. You will also study the digestive system and learn how each of its parts function to ingest, break up, and carry your food for you.




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There are six essential nutrients required to maintain life and health. These are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, and water. This course will first discuss these nutrients including the three major groups of carbohydrates. You will then study the function and division of the stomach and the time frame involved in the digestive process. You will also look into the physical examination of the abdomen involving visual inspection, auscultation, and palpation.

A gastrostomy is a surgical opening into the stomach, made through an incision in the left, upper abdomen. This course will discuss the sixteen steps involved in administering a gastrostomy tube feeding. You will learn that caring for patients with cirrhosis requires careful assessment and monitoring of their nutritional status. You will then study diabetes and learn the seven steps in administering insulin. This course will also discuss the symptoms of hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis.

By the end of this course you will have a much stronger understanding of the digestive system and highly important types of gastrointestinal disorders such as gastritis, gastroenteritis, peritonitis, ulcers, and intestinal obstructions. You will have also learned how to identify the symptoms for each disorder and treat them effectively. This is powerful knowledge that can really make a difference in your patients' lives. So, check out the course today and enhance your nursing skills in just a few short hours.

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Learning Outcomes

Having completed this course you will be able to:

  • List the six essential nutrients required to maintain life and health
  • Explain the mechanics involved in digestion
  • Describe the divisions of the stomach
  • Explain the functions of the stomach
  • List and explain the function of the different body parts of the digestive system
  • Examine the time frame involved in the digestive process
  • Explain a physical examination of the abdomen involving visual inspection, auscultation, and palpation
  • Explain what is meant by a contrast medium
  • Discuss the considerations involved in intestinal decompression
  • Identify the signs and symptoms of diabetes
  • Identify the symptoms and treatment of the main gastrointestinal disorders


All Alison courses are free to enrol, study and complete. To successfully complete this Certificate course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% or higher in each course assessment. Once you have completed this Certificate course, you have the option to acquire official Certification, which is a great way to share your achievement with the world. Your Alison Certification is:

Ideal for sharing with potential employers - include it in your CV, professional social media profiles and job applications
An indication of your commitment to continuously learn, upskill and achieve high results
An incentive for you to continue empowering yourself through lifelong learning

Alison offers 3 types of Certification for completed Certificate courses:

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All Certification is available to purchase through the Alison Shop. For more information on purchasing Alison Certification, please visit our faqs. If you decide not to purchase your Alison Certification, you can still demonstrate your achievement by sharing your Learner Record or Learner Achievement Verification, both of which are accessible from your Dashboard. For more details on our Certification pricing, please visit our Pricing Page.



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