Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan

Learn the benefits of Diarrhea Nursing Care Plans and what assessments and interventions are involved to deliver superior and effective care.

By Harriet Murray on Feb 29, 2024.

Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

Use Template

What is a Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan Template?

Defined as an increase in the frequency of bowel movements and volume, multiple factors can cause diarrhea and can span from an acute issue to a severe problem. Infections, inflammatory bowel diseases, certain drug use, osmotic loads, radiation, and malabsorption issues can all contribute to the condition, making careful and well-instigated nursing care plans a crucial factor in the management of this condition. 

If left untreated or poorly managed, severe diarrhea can lead to nutritional issues and dehydration, potentially leading to electrolyte and fluid imbalances and changes in skin integrity. Healthcare workers treating diarrhea should take all appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of infections associated with diarrhea and indicate infection risks in the nursing care plan. A Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan is a structured and individualized approach designed by healthcare professionals to assess, manage, and treat diarrhea in patients. It involves a comprehensive set of strategies, interventions, and evaluations to address the underlying causes, alleviate symptoms, prevent complications, and promote the patient's recovery. 

This important care plan should be fully customizable and meet each patient's individual needs. The plan typically begins with a thorough assessment of the patient's medical history, recent dietary intake, potential exposure to infections or toxins, medications, and accompanying symptoms to determine the cause and severity of the diarrhea. This carefully designed care plan helps you identify signs and symptoms of the condition and chart the appropriate assessments and interventions needed to meet the goals of care. Common goals and expected outcomes of a Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan involve the patient's education and understanding of foods that contribute to diarrhea, the ability to maintain adequate fluid levels to prevent dehydration, a reduction in daily bowel movements, no presence of blood or mucus in the stool, and a clear relief from abdominal pain or cramping.

Printable Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan

Download this Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan to properly assess, manage, and treat diarrhea in patients.

How does it work?

Step 1: Gather your resources

Diarrhea Nursing Care Plans are a valuable resource and essential to keep on hand. Make sure that you have a copy of the free printable PDF when the need arises by either clicking the “Download Template” or “Use Template” button or by searching “ Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan” on Carepatron’s template library’s search bar on the website or app.

Step 2: Collate essential information

Once the patient's key information has been collected, the severity and prominence of the patient's diarrhea can be assessed. Utilizing the Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan Template to ensure all care goals are met, and interventions are clearly charted for is a seamless operation and easily accessible to relevant parties via Carepatron’s centralized workspace. 

The care plan allows for individualized treatment options and acts as a scaffolding to ensure goals of care are met, and the next steps are recorded for future reference or for distribution to other healthcare specialists who are part of the patient's care team. 

Step 3: Store the chart securely

After reviewing the Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan and creating a viable and individualized plan for the patient, you need to secure the plan so that access is only granted to relevant parties. 

Ensure this through Carepatrons HIPAA-compliant free patient records software. Here, all relevant medical records can be safely stored and collated for ease and security.

Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan example (sample)

Eager to utilize this essential care planning tool? Acquire a free, downloadable, and printable Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan Template PDF that comes pre-filled with fictional data.

Our crafted sample template is designed to aid you in efficiently utilizing the chart and evaluating the goals of care for patients suffering from diarrhea. It includes dedicated sections for clinical notes and outlines the key components and interventions for an efficient Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan. 

Secure your copy by either previewing the sample below or clicking the "Download Example PDF" button.

Download this Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan example:

Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan example (sample)

When would you use this template?

A Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan is utilized when patients present symptoms of diarrhea characterized by frequent, loose, or watery stools. This structured approach is implemented in various healthcare settings whenever individuals experience the following:

Acute diarrhea

For patients suffering from a sudden onset of diarrhea, often caused by infections, food poisoning, or certain medications. A care plan is vital to manage symptoms, prevent dehydration, and address the underlying cause.

Chronic diarrhea

When patients experience diarrhea for an extended period of more than a few weeks, conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or other chronic gastrointestinal issues may be present.. A care plan focusing on long-term management, symptom control, and improving quality of life is key.

Hospitalized patients

Diarrhea can develop during hospital stays due to various factors, including infections, medication side effects, or post-surgical complications. A care plan is essential to prevent dehydration, monitor electrolyte imbalances, and address the specific causes.

Outbreaks or contagious diarrheal illnesses

In situations where there's a risk of spreading infectious diarrhea, such as in communal living environments, healthcare facilities, or during outbreaks, a care plan involves implementing infection control measures and providing appropriate treatment.

Older adults or Immunocompromised Individuals

For populations more vulnerable to complications from diarrhea, such as older adults or those with weakened immune systems, a care plan is crucial to prevent dehydration and manage symptoms effectively.

Children and infants

Care plans for pediatric patients with diarrhea are essential to prevent dehydration and complications due to their smaller body size and higher risk of fluid and electrolyte imbalances.

What do the results mean?

An in-depth assessment is key to pinpoint potential problems that may have caused the diarrhea and to choose the appropriate interventions. The assessment and treatment for children differ from adults and can be a concerning condition with severe risks. The care plan can help collate physical, psychosocial, emotional, and diagnostic information. Aspects of this assessment involve: 

Assessment of the onset and patterns of bowel movement

Chart when the patient's symptoms began, current diet and recent food consumption, any recent travel, and changes in medication use. A diagnosis of acute or chronic diarrhea can be made by charting the length of time in which diarrhea has been present. Tolerance to dairy products, methods of food preparation, and feeding tube use are all factors to consider. 

Assessment of characteristics and frequency

Through nursing or care staff observation or the patient's verbalization, collect data on loose stool frequency and note the presence of blood, mucus, and abnormal coloring. 

Collect stool culture

By collecting a sample of the stool, appropriate treatment and interventions can be made if a particular organism is identified. 

Assessment of abdominal pain and related symptoms

The location of pain and the presence of nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fever, or other dehydration symptoms should be monitored, and electrolyte imbalances can be charted for through blood testing. Any history of gastrointestinal issues such as colitis or autoimmune issues should also be reviewed for their potential to cause diarrhea.

Nursing interventions within a Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan are essential for recovery and long-lasting relief from the issue. Depending on the severity and issues highlighted through assessment, intervention may involve:

Diet adaptations

Patients may require bowel rest and be prescribed a full-liquid diet. Education on diet for those with chronic diarrhea may be required. Suggestions for a low-fiber diet and soft foods such as white rice and bread may be of value, and the avoidance of raw, fresh foods and caffeine is recommended. The daily weight of the patient should be taken to monitor fluid balance and ensure there is no severe water loss. 

Electrolyte imbalances

As dehydration is a common issue related to diarrhea, careful monitoring and treatment of electrolyte levels is required. The use of IV fluids may be needed, and blood testing can help pinpoint which electrolytes are low. 

Medication review

Often a side effect of medications, diarrhea is an important symptom to note when reviewing medications. Education and checking of laxative use are also of value. Misuse and overuse may be causing the root issue. For patients experiencing chemotherapy-related diarrhea, the Common Toxicity Criteria guidelines for colostomy use may need to be utilized and reviewed.

Why use Carepatron as your Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan app?

Selecting Carepatron as your preferred application for creating a Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan offers numerous advantages for healthcare practitioners.

Carepatron provides a centralized workspace, allowing you to manage clinical documents and electronic patient records, set patient appointment reminders, and handle medical billing seamlessly and efficiently within the platform, eliminating the need for additional software downloads. This integrated and comprehensive approach simplifies and streamlines processes and tasks related to diarrhea management, care, and various other activities, giving you peace of mind and allowing you to focus most of your time, attention, and effort on patient care.

Carepatron is dedicated to offering a highly efficient and productive platform for thousands of healthcare professionals, allowing you to customize tools and workflows to meet your unique needs. Additionally, it empowers practitioners and patients to manage administrative tasks such as service booking and completing paperwork. The easy sharing of essential documents and data through the app ensures a top-quality customer experience.

We strongly believe in providing radical accessibility, making our app available on any device you have. Our portable medical dictation software simplifies clinical note-making and updates, ensuring an effortless process. With great accessibility comes great responsibility, and we prioritize the security of all notes, clinical records, results, and practitioner data by complying with global security requirements, including HIPAA, GDPR, and HITRUST.

general practice software

How do you create a Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan Template?References

Australia, H. (2020, May 14). Diarrhoea. Www.healthdirect.gov.au. https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/diarrhoea

Davidson, W. (1922). A bacteriological and clinical consideration of bacillary dysentery in adults and children. Medicine, 1, 389–510.

Jones, G., Steketee, R. W., Black, R. E., Bhutta, Z. A., & Morris, S. S. (2003). How many child deaths can we prevent this year? The Lancet, 362(9377), 65–71. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(03)13811-1

Mcmahan, Z. H., & Dupoint, H. L. (2007). Review article: the history of acute infectious diarrhoea management - from poorly focused empiricism to fluid therapy and modern pharmacotherapy. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 25(7), 759–769. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2036.2007.03261.x

WHO. (2008). The global burden of disease: 2004 update. World Health Organization.

How do you create a Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan Template?
How do you create a Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan Template?

Commonly asked questions

How do you create a Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan Template?

To create a comprehensive nursing care plan for diarrhea, simply create a customized plan from the scaffolding provided by Carepatron and cater to the patient's needs through the key aspects of assessment, intervention, and evaluation.

When are Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan Templates used?

These valuable plan templates can be used at any point of the treatment journey for a patient with diarrhea to track, monitor, and plan all interventions by healthcare professionals and the patient themselves.

How are the Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan Templates used?

Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan Templates are used as a planning tool for efficient and confident care delivery. They are designed to be customized and meet the individual patient's needs.

Join 10,000+ teams using Carepatron to be more productive

One app for all your healthcare work