Jump to content

Phrasing - how do you ask your patients about incontinence?

Nurses   (657 Views | 13 Replies)
by AriRN36 AriRN36 (New) New

AriRN36 has <1 years experience .

224 Profile Views; 7 Posts

I think some people have great ways to phrase questions that are uncomfortable for patients. What are some ways you ask patients about if they are incontinent of bowel or bladder?

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

104 Posts; 1,471 Profile Views

Do you get up and go to the restroom when your need to go? Most people will tell you at that point if they have any issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CalicoKitty has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-surg.

1 Follower; 708 Posts; 15,987 Profile Views

Sometimes I joke a little.. Maybe say something like laughing so hard, crying down my leg.... I tend to use the word accidents. It sounds pretty blameless. Work from there.. Dribbling. Nocturia. Frequency. Etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just me. specializes in None.

78 Posts; 470 Profile Views

As general question about health history, have you ever lost control of you bowel or bladder?  Do you need assistance getting to the bathroom?  For those I strongly suspect are incontinent,  I do respectfully ask if they basically have the problem and if they need help getting cleaned up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

K+MgSO4 has 12 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Surgical, quality,management.

1 Follower; 1,693 Posts; 22,416 Profile Views

Do you get to the bathroom on time? 

Do you worry about going out if you don't know where the bathroom is?

Then the usual stress incontinence questions...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tweety has 28 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

3 Followers; 28,984 Posts; 48,460 Profile Views

Be matter of fact about it but not too technical that they don't know what you're saying.  "Do you have control of your bowels and bladder or any issues with dribbling urine, getting to the bathroom on time....etc.?"

We have to be comfortable discussing uncomfortable topics.  

My doctor point blank asks me about sexual function, and other urinary questions (I'm 60) and I appreciate that, it opens up the topic if need be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

72 Posts; 236 Profile Views

I have the overactive bladder now, myself. It's just part of old age I guess. I take a pill and that helps alot . I take an oxybutnin 2 X daily, morning and night. 

I still,notice that I might be gona go,out, I,get that urge and I,know I better go to the bathroom before stepping out of the house. It's like my bladder

 knows what's coming up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

3 Followers; 4,310 Posts; 31,671 Profile Views

"Do you know when you need to go to the bathroom, or does it just happen sometimes when you're not expecting it?"

That's become my script over time. It seems to be universally understood, and open enough for people to elaborate if they'd like to. On the other hand, it's not excruciatingly detailed and doesn't seem to make people too uncomfortable.

I only probe deeper than that if it's a patient admitted for urology services.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

amoLucia specializes in LTC.

5,322 Posts; 46,360 Profile Views

As someone who has OAB/incont issues, I have NO QUALMS discussing my problems HC providers. Now it's not something I go about discussing with others in general social outings, but since I'm at a HC appt, I'm open to any discussion.

To nsg /HC folk, please DO NOT worry about embarrassing the pt. Be tactful and sensitive, no need to be delicate or using euphemisms. Incont is a major lifestyle-altering issue for many.  Its occurrence is way more embarrassing in real life happenings than any DISCUSSON could ever be. You'll be opening the door for meaningful & appreciated discussion with those afflicted. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ArmaniX has 5 years experience as a MSN, APRN and specializes in Surgical Critical Care.

303 Posts; 6,638 Profile Views

“Have you ever *** the bed?”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AlwaysLearning247 has 4 years experience as a BSN.

1 Follower; 376 Posts; 6,522 Profile Views

I always ask “can you feel the urge when you need to go to the bathroom?” Basically most patients will eloborate from there. It is awkward at first!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NurseJamillah is a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg.

75 Posts; 2,011 Profile Views

I work in a hospital, so if they are mature, I start with, "Do you usually wear a brief, like Depends?".

At all ages, I ask, "Do you have urgency or stress incontinence? That means when you have to go, you HAVE TO GO." If they say yes, then I say, do you leak a little sometimes? Do you want me to bring some pads or for me to keep a urinal nearby?"

That usually opens up the conversation. They will tell me if they need a commode next to the bed, urinal, pad, brief, etc. 

Sometimes they say not to all of the above, but they smell strongly of urine, so I will bring in some extra things later with some comfort items and tell them that I couldn't remember if they said they needed the pad/urinal etc. or not. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×

This site uses cookies. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies to learn more.