Patient’s Elimination and Dignity from Nurses’ Viewpoint
The topic of elimination as a basic bodily function is very important to discuss and to raise awareness of due to the imposed psychological burden on patients who experience issues with it. Indeed, the health problems related to urinary or bowel emptying in patients of all ages and health histories are commonly associated with shame and embarrassment, which leads to complications and improper treatment. Therefore, a person-centered approach should be prioritized when dealing with elimination issues to ensure the proper treatment of the problems in conditions that ensure patients’ dignity. One of the commonly observed problems associated with elimination is incontinence. Proper management of such conditions ensures adequate social and family life and should be provided by responsible health care professionals. As stated by van Houten et al., specifically designed tools should be developed to enable nurses who do not specialize in incontinence to assess patients and provide them with the necessary care.
Within the context of the discussed issues, it becomes evident that nurses are expected to be experts not only in managing diverse elimination-related conditions by applying treatment options but also in implementing psychological interventions. According to Ballou and Keefer, psychological treatment is a valuable tool in managing healthy thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and physical experiences. In particular, cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnotherapy, mindfulness, psychodynamic, and interpersonal therapies have proven to be successful in managing the psychological burden of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases. However, neither of the discussed interventions will be applicable without timely diagnosis and identification of the problems. Therefore, it is essential to raise awareness and ensure a treatment that suffices patients’ independence and dignity need.