How to Prepare a Patient For A Colonoscopy as a Nurse


A colonoscopy is an examination type procedure that is used to investigate symptoms of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, constipation and other intestinal problems. It is also used as a screening tool for colon cancer. Nurses give patients information about proper preparation for this procedure to ensure accurate results.

  • Teach your patient about the purpose of the procedure. Tell him that a colonoscopy, helps the physician view and examine the lining of his large intestine or colon for abnormalities.

  • Inform your patient to maintain a clear liquid diet 24 to 48 hours before the scheduled colonoscopy. Tell him that the day before the examination, he should eat nothing by mouth after midnight. This is done to reduce the amount of residue in his bowels.

  • Explain the need for a clean bowel before the colonoscopy examination. Let your patient know that he needs to take laxatives as ordered to induce diarrhea before the procedure. This is done to permit a clearer view of his colon during the colonoscopy.

  • Inform your patient that the colonscope will be lubricated before being inserted into his rectum. This is don for easier passage and to reduce patient discomfort. Tell him that he may feel and urge to defecate at this time and a cool sensation.

  • Tell your patient that air may be introduced into his intestines to make them bigger and permit better viewing of his bowels. Let him know that because of this he may pass a some gas or flatus and should not attempt to control it. Make sure that an informed consent has been signed by your patient or a responsible family member before the procedure.

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