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full of it! bowel management in rehabilitation

Level: Intermediate

Contact Hours: Contact hours are no longer offered for this course.


Pricing & Licensure

Single User License: $109

Single UNIT License: $595

  • A unit license covers all staff of a single inpatient unit of 0-30 Beds for the life of the course.

Bowel Course Cover Graphic

Unit, multi-unit and facility pricing/licensure is determined by number of beds. Contact us if your unit has more than 30 beds or if you are interested in multi-unit or facility pricing. For more information on licensure, go to


Course Description

Rehab Nursing Series Course 11

Focus: Assessing & Managing Bowel Problems

This is course fully reviews physiology and bowel management problems common to rehabilitation patients. Strategies for successful development of bowel programs and practice cases help develop didactic knowledge for reducing the burden of care for those with bowel emptying problems.The workbook contains sample documentation tools, decision-trees, and reference tables for identifying and managing bowel elimination problems.


Course Chapters

Chapter 1 Overview: What do you know?

This chapter challenges the learner to see what is already known about bowel management and constipation issues, using several challenges to address the truth of common beliefs and a pretest to facilitate self-assessment.

  • What do you know and believe about bowel function?

Chapter 2 Anatomy & Physiology: It does what?
A thorough review of anatomy and physiology is required before understanding underlying pathophysiology and reasons for interventions. Material is reviewed in a highly interactive manner and addresses neurological dysfunction and the most common bowel problem, constipation.

  • What is the gastrocolic reflex? The defecation reflex? How many other reflexes are involved? What slows GI motility?

  • What are the central and peripheral nervous system controls of bowel function?

Chapter 3 Assessment: What am I really seeing?
Many patients have mixed elimination problems and a thorough assessment assists in identifying what issues need to be addressed. This course reviews detailed assessment of bowel function and the intrinsic and extrinsic factors affecting it.

  • What issues are contributing to bowel dysfunction?

Chapter 4 Problems: Now, what's the problem?
Clear identification of problems directs interventions and provides the team with an understanding of the patient's situation. This section provides a decision-tree resource and reference grid and reviews nursing diagnoses associated with bowel elimination problems.

  • What problem does the patient have?

  • Can't keep it in? Why is that happening?

  • Can't get it out? What kind of constipation is that?

Chapter 5 Solutions: So, what are you going to do about it?
Management of elimination problems begins with understanding and utilizing some basic principles. Then, specific interventions related to the nursing diagnosis are applied. The course reviews these concepts and provides a map for care planning development. Practice scenarios encourage application of skills.

  • What can be done to promote gastrointestinal health and reduce the burden of care?

  • How to you build patient/caregiver competence in self-care?

Chapters 6-8 Your Turn Alessandro, Julio, and Christine

Three patients provide practice scenarios for the learner to solve to encourage application of skills.

Chapter 9 Posttest


Learning Outcomes:

As a result of participating in this activity, the learner will be able to pass the posttest with a score of 80% or better, demonstrating knowledge of:

  • The impact of bowel elimination problems on patients and caregivers.

  • Normal and pathophysiological functioning of the bowel.

  • Causes of bowel elimination problems and appropriate management of them.


Contact hours no longer will be provided for this course after October 1, 2019.If you would like to provide contact hours for this course at your site, contact us at for the details of the Mergener formula.

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