So in nursing school, they teach that you should auscultate all four quadrants for bowel sounds, and if you hear nothing you should listen for 5 minutes until you say that they are absent (if you hear none).
In your practice do you always listen for 5 minutes and write "absent" bowel sounds in a fresh post-op patient, or do you listen for a bit, and if you don't hear a thing, chart down "hypoactive bowel sounds" instead and keep assessing periodically (and also for flatus)?
Because aren't we also taught to notify the MD when there are absent bowel sounds as it could mean a paralytic ileus? But since a paralytic ileus is more of a concern if the bowels don't get back into action in the first 72 hours...which is the best action for the nurse?
This is a bit confusing because what I've experienced in my capstone differs from what they taught in school...so i'm wondering how you all do it on the job?