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A124 Bowel management: a course for nurses

Course summary

Bowel management - particularly digital rectal examination (DRE) and the manual removal of faeces - has been a contentious issue for some time. In the past few years it has unfortunately been brought to the fore by several cases of professional misconduct by nurses.

The aim of this course is to facilitate and provide nurses with the theoretical knowledge and skills to safely undertake the procedure of DRE and Manual Evacuation of Faeces. It also addresses issues around the management of bowel incontinence and constipation.

Who should attend?

  • practice nurses, 
  • district nurses, 
  • nurse practitioners, 
  • community nurses, 
  • registered nurses


Course duration Course CPD In-house Course
1 day(s) 7 hour(s) POA

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Aims / objectives

At the end of this course you will:

  • Have reviewed the anatomy and physiology of the GI Tract
  • Have a better understanding of normal bowel function and how to maintain a healthy bowel
  • Be more confident in enabling individuals to effectively evacuate their bowels (CC09)
  • Be comfortable in identifying bowel dysfunction, and what difficulties patients may face in evacuating their bowels
  • Be able to complete a bowel continence assessment 
  • Understand the importance of DRE and analyse the findings (CC01)
  • Have confidence in the implementation of a bowel management plan (including instructing individuals to perform pelvic floor exercises) (CC12)
  • Be more confident in making a nursing diagnosis, implementing treatment and referring patients as needed
  • Have gained practical skills and confidence in performing DRE&DRF when clinically indicated

Course programme

  • Anatomy & Physiology of the GI Tract
  • Bowel Dysfunction & Assessment 
  • Conservative Treatments - Promotion of healthy bowel function
  • Constipation 
  • Faecal Incontinence (FI) 
  • DRE & DRF
  • Activity

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