1-14. THE NURSING HISTORY
a. When obtaining the nursing history of a gastrointestinal patient, a detailed
interview should be conducted. Nursing personnel should question the patient about his
dietary habits, his bowel habits, and his GI complaints (signs and symptoms).
b. Obtaining a history of dietary habits will provide valuable information.
Question the patient about the following:
The number of meals ate per day.
Food restrictions or special diets followed.
Changes in appetite. Increased? Decreased? No appetite?
What foods, if any, have been eliminated from the diet? Why?
What foods are not well tolerated?
Alterations in taste.
c. Information about bowel patterns, especially a change in bowel patterns, can
provide clues that will aid in the diagnosis of the problem. Question the patient about
Use of laxatives and/or enemas.
Changes in bowel habits.
Blood in stool.
Mucous in stool.