Providing optimal nursing care for patients undergoing enteral feeding
evidence and practice    

Providing optimal nursing care for patients undergoing enteral feeding

Shawn McLaren Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Human Sciences, London Metropolitan University, London, England
Cameron Arbuckle Specialist Dietician, University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To refresh your knowledge of the various routes that can be used for enteral feeding and medicines administration

  • To enhance your awareness of the reasons why patients may require enteral feeding

  • To familiarise yourself with the common complications that may occur when undertaking enteral feeding

Enteral feeding is defined as the intake of food directly into the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Enteral feeding tubes can also be used to administer medicines. Patients who may require enteral feeding include those who are unconscious, or those with neurological swallowing disorders, upper GI obstruction, GI dysfunction or malabsorption. There are several routes that can be used for enteral feeding including gastrostomy, post-pyloric, nasogastric, continuous pump and bolus feeding. When undertaking enteral feeding, nurses and other healthcare professionals should be aware of the potential complications such as tube blockage and infection. This article examines the various enteral feeding routes, discusses the administration of medicines, and details the common complications associated with enteral feeding.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11520

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

s.mclaren@londonmet.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

McLaren S, Arbuckle C (2020) Providing optimal nursing care for patients undergoing enteral feeding. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11520

Accepted 3 February 2020

Published online: 27 February 2020