How to perform digital removal of faeces
Ian Peate Professor of nursing, Gibraltar Health Authority, Gibraltar
This article provides practitioners with information about how to perform digital removal of faeces in a safe, effective and patient-centred manner, promoting privacy and dignity. Passing faecal matter is essential to enable the elimination of waste. For some people, however, defecation is not possible without some form of intervention; this could be the administration of oral medication or an enema, insertion of suppositories or digital removal of faeces.
Bowel care is a fundamental aspect of patient care.
Digital removal of faeces should be performed by a practitioner competent in this skill.
Digital removal of faeces is an invasive procedure and should only be carried out when necessary following holistic patient assessment.
Clinical skills articles can help update your practice and ensure it remains evidence based. Apply this article to your practice. Reflect on and write a short account of:
How you think this article will improve your practice.
How the patient receiving the care you delivered might have felt.
Subscribers can upload their reflective accounts at:
Nursing Standard. 30, 40,36-39. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.40.36.s43Correspondence
All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.
Received: 03 March 2016
Accepted: 14 April 2016