Diverticulitis is a digestive disease that occurs when small pouches or sacs – called diverticula – form in the wall of the large intestine. Often diverticulitis is difficult to diagnose, as it is often mistaken for other conditions with similar symptoms.
A nursing assessment should include an evaluation of the patient’s past medical history, current medications, ability to communicate, understanding of the condition, and any other risk factors for developing the condition. Once the evaluation is complete, the nurse should perform an initial physical exam, looking for signs and symptoms of diverticulitis that can include fever, abdominal tenderness, vomiting, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding. The nurse should also perform laboratory tests to further diagnose the condition.
Once the diagnosis of diverticulitis is confirmed, a nursing diagnosis should be formulated to depict the patient’s current condition and symptoms. The nursing diagnosis should include: pain associated with the disease, altered nutrition, anxiety related to diagnosis and treatment, and knowledge deficit about the condition.
The outcome of the nursing care plan should focus on improved comfort and reduced pain associated with the condition, increased patient knowledge of diverticulitis, improved nutritional status and preventive measures, as well as avoidance of complications.
The interventions that the nurse should use to improve the patient’s condition will depend on the severity of the diverticulitis. Some of the interventions that the nurse may employ include administration of pain relief medications, providing education about the condition and lifestyle modifications that can reduce the risk of exacerbations, promoting a balanced diet, and teaching the patient how to self-monitor their condition.
The rationale for the interventions is that it will help to reduce the patient’s symptoms, allowing them to function more normally despite having the condition. This will also help to reduce potential complications from the disease, as well as improve their overall quality of life. By educating the patient on their condition, they will be able to better recognize warning signs of an exacerbation, and take corrective action as needed.
At the end of the care plan, the nurse should evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions and make any necessary modifications. The nurse should also assess the patient’s response to the interventions, and determine if any additional interventions are necessary.
Living with diverticulitis can be difficult and painful, but with the right care plan and interventions, it is possible to manage the condition and even reduce discomfort. A nurse should focus on providing the patient with adequate pain relief, educational materials for them to understand their condition, and corrective lifestyle modifications that can help reduce the risk of exacerbations and complications.
- What is diverticulitis? Diverticulitis is a digestive disorder that occurs when small sacs or pouches – called diverticula – form in the lining of the large intestine.
- What are common symptoms of diverticulitis? Common symptoms of diverticulitis include fever, abdominal tenderness, vomiting, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding.
- How is diverticulitis diagnosed? Diverticulitis is usually diagnosed through a combination of the patient’s history, physical examination, and laboratory tests.
- What is the treatment for diverticulitis? Treatment for diverticulitis usually includes antibiotics, pain relief medications, lifestyle modifications, and adequate nutrition.
- Can lifestyle modifications help reduce symptoms? Yes, certain lifestyle modifications such as a balanced diet and exercise, can help reduce symptoms of diverticulitis.