Nursing Assessment of Patients Requiring Enteral and Gastric Feeding Tubes: An Exploratory Approach

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Abstract

There is insufficient information available in the current literature regarding how nurses assess, intervene, and advocate for patients with indwelling gastric and enteral tube feedings. To understand ways in which nurses could be more supportive, a survey, distributed through private online social media groups, was designed to elicit preliminary data from patients who are currently, or had recently been treated, with a feeding tube. This survey examines nurse behaviors that patients identify as actually or potentially helpful with the physical, emotional, social, and logistical aspects of having a feeding tube. The results of the survey reveal that, although some patients report feeling cared for by nurses and believe that their nurses were compassionate, a greater number of respondents express that their nurses were less informed and less able to provide help with their emotional challenges. Further investigation is needed to assess how nurses can better support these patients and better identify the successful and transformative interventions that would be helpful to them.

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