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HealthCenter21: Nutrition and Elimination

This module provides an overview of how nutrition and elimination are related to the overall health of the patient. They learn how to assist patients with meals and meeting elimination needs, and they measure and record intake and output.

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The Nutrition and Elimination module is designed according to the AES course framework, which includes four phases:

  1. Explore
  2. Learn & Practice
  3. Reflect
  4. Reinforce

Below you'll discover how AES can help you teach your students about nutrition and elimination according to these four phases.

Phase 1: Explore


Activity: Bingo Game

In this activity, students play a Bingo game to explore key terms related to nutrition and elimination.

Phase 2: Learn & Practice


Unit 1: Optimal Nutrition

In this unit, students will learn about: nutrition, including the six types of nutrients, the percentages of them that make up a healthy diet, and the importance of fiber. They use My Plate to learn the six food groups and recognize that nutrient needs are unique depending upon age, sex, and activity level. 

  1. Nutrients 
  2. Food Groups 
  3. Quiz


Unit 2: Diets

In this unit, students will learn about: common facility and therapeutic diets as they identify permitted foods, list typical sequence of post-surgery diets, and explore factors that can affect a person's eating habits including health, age, culture, religion, and personal choice. 

  1. Basic Facility Diets 
  2. Therapeutic Diets 
  3. Other Dietary Considerations 
  4. Quiz


Unit 3: Feeding Patients

In this unit, students learn about: the assistant's role during meals and alternative methods of feeding including promoting a positive mealtime atmosphere, identifying principles of food management and safety, preparing and positioning a patient for a meal, setting up and removing a meal tray, helping a patient self-feed, and providing complete assistance. They also learn about enteral nutrition and feedings, IV therapy, and Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) and risks. 

  1. Meals 
  2. Helping a Patient Self-Feed 
  3. Feeding a Patient 
  4. Alternative Methods of Feeding 
  5. Quiz


Unit 4: Intake and Output

In this unit, students will learn about: intake and output and how fluid balance relates to homeostasis as they identify signs and symptoms of dehydration, learn how to maintain a patient's fluid balance, measure and record patient intake and output, and calculate input and output for a 24-hour period. 

  1. Maintaining Fluid Balance 
  2. Recording Intake and Output 
  3. Calculate 24-Hour Intake and Output 
  4. Quiz


Unit 5: Assisting with Toileting

In this unit, students will learn about: elimination needs, including equipment and procedures. They identify the purpose of and ways to reinforce bladder and bowel training. 

  1. Elimination Needs 
  2. Bedpan 
  3. Urinal 
  4. Bedside Commode 
  5. Bladder and Bowel Training 
  6. Quiz


Unit 6: Urinary Catheters

In this unit, students will learn about: catheter care, including types of catheters, how to empty a catheter, how to connect to a leg bag, how to apply a condom catheter, and describe observations assistants can make about catheters. 

  1. Catheters 
  2. Indwelling Catheter Care 
  3. Emptying a Catheter Drainage Bag 
  4. Connecting a Catheter to a Leg Bag 
  5. Applying a Condom Catheter 
  6. Quiz


Unit 7: Special Bowel Elimination Procedures

In this unit, students will learn about: caring for patients with an ostomy, including the definition and purpose of an ostomy and how to help a patient adjust, the purpose of rectal tubes, suppositories and enemas, types of enemas, and how to give a patient a commercially prepared enema. 

  1. Ostomy 
  2. Bowel Aids 
  3. Quiz

Phase 3: Reflect


Activity: Reflection Questions and Discussion

In this activity, students will journal about therapeutic diets, care for catheters, and reasons for monitoring and recording intake and output. A class discussion on these topics can follow.

Phase 4: Reinforce


Project: Creating a Meal Plan

In this project, students work individually as they develop an appetizing and nutritionally-balanced menu for a long-term care facility and select meal plans for patients with dietary restrictions.


Activity: Patient Care Scenarios

In this activity, students practice procedures learned in the module using various scenarios -- sometimes in less-than-ideal circumstances.


Activity: Current Event

Students will review articles for information related to a topic in the module. Once an article is found, students complete a Current Event form.

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