Nursing Studies - Clinical Skills: The Digestive System - Revised

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This course teaches the knowledge and skills necessary to provide effective care and assistance to patients experiencing gastrointestinal difficulties
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This online nursing studies course will outline the knowledge and skills necessary to provide effective care and assistance to any patients who are experiencing gastrointestinal difficulties. The course begins by examining the functions and mechanics of the human digestive system. You will learn about proteins, carbohydrates and fatty acids, how they are broken down in the digestive system and provide fuel for the body's metabolism. You will also examine the lower digestive system, such as the intestines, pancreas and liver and how they produce enzymes and gastric juices to help in the absorption of food.

The course then identifies the various diagnostic procedures for identifying disorders of the gastrointestinal system such as auscultation, endoscopy, stool samples and gastric analysis. Here you will learn how to identify the various signs and symptoms which show that a patient is need of consultation with a physician. Next you will examine the steps and procedures for gastric and intestinal intubation, which is the process of passing a tube through the nose or mouth, through the esophagus, and into the stomach or intestine to obtain a specimen of stomach contents, to lavage the stomach or to allow for drainage of stomach contents.

Finally, you will learn about the different types of gastrointestinal disorders such as gastritis, gastroenteritis, peritonitis, ulcers and intestinal obstructions. You will learn how to identify the symptoms and differing treatments for each disorder. Hepatitis and cirrhosis are also explained as well as the steps involved in the assessment and monitoring of a patient's status to aid recovery. You will also learn about diabetes, how it is caused, how to identify the symptoms, as well as emergency treatment procedures.

This nursing course will be of great interest to all health care professionals who would like to learn more about nursing practices and techniques for patients experiencing gastrointestinal difficulties.

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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


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