Chapter 5 – Gastrointestinal System Assessment

Key Takeaways

  • Common symptoms to assess related to the GI system include pain, nausea and vomiting, appetite changes, food intolerances and allergies, changes to bowel patterns including diarrhea and constipation, bloating, and flatulence.
  • An objective assessment of the GI system is first performed with the client sitting upright to assess the oral cavity and then lying supine to assess the abdomen. Collaborate with the client to determine the position to best assess the perianal region.
  • A trauma-informed approach to the objective assessment is necessary considering that areas of the abdomen and the perianal region are being exposed.
  • The objective assessment should begin with inspection and palpation related to the oral cavity; inspection, auscultation, palpation, and percussion of the abdomen; and inspection and palpation of the perianal region.
  • Health promotion interventions should be developed with the client to address what is important to them.

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