Sodium Restriction – Management of Ascites (Nursing)

by Rhonda Lawes

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    00:00 With our first inter professional goal.

    00:03 We're going to use a lot of Health Care team members because it will involve the treatment of the specific underlying disease.

    00:09 Our second inter professional goal will definitely involve the dietitian.

    00:14 Now you look at a two gram sodium diet and think how hard can that be? Well, let me tell you about my experience with nursing students.

    00:22 Students became pretty laissez-faire about a two gram sodium diet and just explaining it to patients.

    00:28 They didn't really help patients understand the meaning behind this, so I got an idea.

    00:34 In class and pharmacology, I started asking them.

    00:37 All right. Think about your last diet your last meal that you ate out at a restaurant or a drive-through.

    00:45 Then I have them look up the sodium content of that meal.

    00:49 Most students eyes pop out of their head.

    00:52 You should try that yourself because we're completely unaware about how much sodium is in processed foods.

    00:59 And if you're eating out in a restaurant or a drive-through particularly, you're getting a lot of sodium.

    01:07 So I have them figure out the sodium in their diet and then I have them plan a two gram sodium diet day so they can eat eat whatever they want.

    01:15 It just can't be more than two grams of sodium.

    01:18 Then they have to follow that diet for a day and then we come back and talk about what it felt like.

    01:24 Now, why would I do that? Just because I'm mean? No, that's not the reason.

    01:28 See a lot of times we flippantly recommend things to patients without acknowledging that it's difficult change.

    01:35 It's a big deal.

    01:36 So I wanted them to have the experience of what it was like to actually live on a two gram sodium diet.

    01:44 So I would recommend that you try that sometime just to recognize what patients are going through.

    01:50 That's why a dietitian is so important in helping the patient learn more about their food choices.

    01:58 Now, you can work with a dietitian to make sure that you include the most palatable foods for that patient.

    02:04 If you have a patient who's from a different culture than you are accustomed to, recognize the foods that are really important to them for celebrations and for customs, we can work around it, but we just need to know what the patient usually enjoys.

    02:19 It does no good to make a meal plan for someone if it's not foods that they're ever going to eat.

    02:25 Our goal is to help the patient understand the importance of a controlled sodium lifestyle because controlling their sodium will help them control their ascites and the edema.

    02:38 Then they're going to have a better life all around.

    02:41 They're going to feel better, have more energy and be more comfortable.

    02:45 So don't make it what you can't eat make it what they can eat and dietitians are fantastic Partners collaborators in this process.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Sodium Restriction – Management of Ascites (Nursing) by Rhonda Lawes is from the course Liver Cirrhosis (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Encourage the client to eat familiar foods in moderation
    2. Restrict foods that are high in sodium
    3. Collaborate with a personal trainer for diet advice
    4. Explain to the client how a low sodium diet will decrease jaundice

    Author of lecture Sodium Restriction – Management of Ascites (Nursing)

     Rhonda Lawes

    Rhonda Lawes

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