Diarrhea Care Plan

Diarrhea refers to a kind of gastrointestinal disorder opposite to constipation wherein a person defecates more frequently than normally. As a rule, the consistency of stool in cases of diarrhea is watery and unformed. If in cases of constipation, a person finds it hard to defecate regularly and at times of impulse for defecation, in cases of diarrhea one has increased frequency of bowel movements. Since diarrhea may be uncontrolled, one requires an individual diarrhea care plan.

There are different causal factors of diarrhea. Particularly, it can be caused by hyperperstaltic impulses of the intestines, certain bowel diseases, infection in the intestines, and malabsorption disorders. Even though many people find this disturbance as an insignificant one, a diarrhea care plan is a must because on later stages, if left untreated, it may even be a threat to life depending on its fundamental causes. Thus, it is really important to devise a nursing care plan for diarrhea and eliminate its causes.

Related and Causative Factors of Diarrhea:

  • Malabsorption disorders;
  • Aftermaths of radiation therapy and chemotheraphy;
  • Side effect of specific medication intake;
  • Anxiety, nervousness, and stress;
  • Effect of the excessive alcohol intake;
  • Effect of improper nourishment;
  • Intestinal infections (bacterial, parasitic or viral);
  • Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease;
  • Syndrome of bowel irritability.

Characteristic Features:

  1. Watery and loose stool;
  2. Pain in stomach and intestines;
  3. Cramps in abdomen;
  4. Increased frequency of defecation;
  5. Bowel sensations and hyperactive bowel sounds.

Desired Effects of the Diarrhea Care Plan:

  • Patients no longer suffer from frequent defecations;
  • Patients understand and explain what causes diarrhea. Besides, they are well-versed in possible treatment options;
  • Patients have a good state of skin and maintain their normal weight as they suffer from dehydration no more;
  • Defecations are now regular, soft, and formed;
  • There are no signs of intestinal infection as patients are not diagnosed positive for stool cultures.

Diarrhea Nursing Care Plan



1. Examine patients for the presence of watery and unformed stool, abdominal pain and cramps, feeling of discomfort in the intestines, urgency and frequency of defecation.

All these symptoms indicate that the patient suffers from diarrhea.

2. Ask the patient to undergo medical examination of the presence of stool cultures.

When a person is diagnosed positive for stool cultures, it means that the cause of diarrhea is infection.

3. Examine the patient for fecal impaction.

Impaction may also be a symptom of diarrhea since only watery portion of stool has been disposed of.

4. Examine the hydration of a patient (mucus membranes, intake and output, skin turgor).

It will help find out if a person has signs of dehydration in case of diarrhea. As such, it will be possible to come up with an urgent intervention plan.

5. Conduct inquiry about the patient’s history of diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disorders and their former treatment.

Such an inquiry will help the nursing staff identify the presumable cause of diarrhea and further switch over to proper treatment.

6. Identify whether there is irritation in the perianal area.

This is one of the evident signs of having frequent and liquid stool.

Nursing Care Plan for Diarrhea Patient

Nursing Interventions


1. Conduct an inquiry about the patient’s frequency and urgency of bowel impulses during the day. Ask details about the consistency of stool as well.

This intervention will help prove the diagnosis for diarrhea.

2. Ask the patient about his/ her dietary habits, the amount and frequency of fluid intakes, and daily nutrition.

This inquiry will help determine which foods may presumably cause diarrhea.

3. Make sure the patient is weighed on a daily basis.

In case a patient is prone to weight loss, it may be a sign of dehydration or an aftermath of some other diarrhea effects.

4. Check whether the patient consumes the prescribed medicine against diarrhea.

The medication will help maintain norm in defecation concerning frequency, urgency, and consistency.

5. Supervise the consumption of bulk fiber as prescribed

Such drugs are good in that they can absorb excessive fluid from the stool, thus leading to the increase of fecal consistency.

6. Encourage the patient to maintain healthy diet and regular eating habits. Also make sure the patient avoids sugary products, carbonated beverages, and caffeine drinks.

The mentioned products should be avoided as they lead to higher probability of diarrhea.

7. Check on mucus membranes and skin turgor to eliminate the chances of dehydration.

Such examination will help to treat the patient from dehydration.

8. Recommend the patient to hydrate the body more effectively by letting him/ her drinking more liquid.

While a patient disposes of much fluid during diarrhea, regular water intake helps to enrich the amounts of water in the body.

7. Supervise and record the patient’s intake and output.

It will identify the need for the patient’s rehydration process.

8. Advise the patient to eat small particles of food and in small portions.

Slow and frequent eating decreases peristaltic movements by digesting small food portions.

9. Explain the need of replacing fluid during diarrhea.

Such strategy prevents dehydration as a diarrhea effect.

10. Make sure the patient and his/ her family receive proper education and teaching on rules of proper sanitation and handwashing,particularly while preparing meals for the patient.

Proper food preparation will prevent further cases of diarrhea chances.


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