A man uses a urinal to urinate when he cannot get out of bed. The urinal is designed to fit between the man’s legs. To urinate, the man puts his penis in the opening of the urinal. If the man is very weak or disabled, you may need to place his penis inside the opening of the urinal for him.
Promoting Normal Elimination
Being in a health care facility can change a person’s normal elimination patterns, which can cause health problems. The most effective method of treating urinary and bowel problems is to prevent them from happening in the first place. As a nursing assistant, you can help promote normal urinary and bowel function for your patients or residents. The following tips are simple, but effective.
■ Encourage plenty of fluids, unless a person has a medical condition that requires fluid restriction. Drinking plenty of fluids helps the kidneys to work properly, and regular urination flushes harmful bacteria from the bladder, helping to prevent urinary tract infections. In addition, drinking enough fluids helps to keep the feces soft, making bowel movements easier.
■ Answer call lights promptly and take people to the bathroom or provide them with a bedpan or urinal as soon as they ask you to. Many residents and patients do not want to “bother” the nursing staff and will wait until the last minute to call for assistance with the bedpan or for help getting to the bathroom. If the person must wait too long for help to arrive, he or she may have an accident.
■ Encourage your patients or residents to call when they first feel the urge to void. This can help to prevent accidents. In addition, “holding” urine or feces is not only uncomfortable, it can lead to problems such as constipation.
■ Offer people the chance to eliminate frequently, especially if they are bed-bound or require assistance. Some people may fi nd it easier to accept an offer of assistance than to ask for help.
■ Provide for privacy and comfort. A person is able to urinate or have a bowel movement much more easily if she is warm enough, in a comfortable position, and ensured of as much privacy as possible. Most women urinate and have bowel movements in a sitting or squatting position. Help a woman to sit upright by elevating the head of the bed (if she is using a bedpan), or have her lean forward a bit while seated on the toilet or bedside commode. Most men stand up to urinate and sit down to have a bowel movement. Some men have no difficulty using a urinal while lying down, but others will need to sit up or even to stand. In this case, you may need to help the man
to sit or stand up. If a person is having diffi culty urinating, there are some things you can do to help. For example, try turning on the faucet and allowing water to run into the sink. The sound of running water, which accompanied many of our early toilet training lessons, can help a person relax enough to start the urine stream. The sound of the running water also helps to cover up the sounds of urination, which may put some people more at ease. Putting the person’s fi ngers in a basin of warm water can also help stimulate urination. If a person is having diffi culty moving his bowels, make sure that the person does not feel rushed. Many people like to read while having a bowel movement. Some people fi nd that drinking warm fluids Men who cannot get out of bed to urinate can use a urinal.coffee, tea, or warm water with lemon) helps stimulate the bowels to empty. Finally, regular exercise and foods that contain insoluble fiber help to promote regular bowel movements.