A nursing care plan for a patient with abdominal pain includes an overall assessment with a focused interview, visual inspection, auscultation, palpation and percussion, according to iStudentNurse. The care plan requires testing such as a complete blood cell count, metabolic panel and stool output grading.
After assessment of the abdominal area, the nursing care plan often calls for testing to identify the cause of the pain, such as an ultrasonography, computed tomography scan of the pelvis and abdomen or a colonoscopy. Some patients may also need a fecal occult blood test and stool specimen to determine a presence of blood in stool, explains iStudentNurse.
Data collection during testing and assessment includes questioning the patient about gastrointestinal disturbances, personal medical history, family history of colorectal cancer, bowel functions and dates and times of the last bowel movement, notes iStudentNurse. The nursing care plan should also include an inspection of any umbilical bulges, masses or enlarged organs; potential signs of pregnancy or tumors; and dilated veins or obstructions within the abdomen. An assessment of pain and pain management techniques is also a crucial element of the care plan to ensure patient comfort. The care plan should include notations about any abdominal guarding from the patient and observations of the patient's pain level.