• General

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    • Finding your way around

      Welcome

      Welcome to this online course and associated resources especially developed for those caring for people with continence needs. The content of these materials is intended to provide the theory and knowledge basis for your continence care practice. Information and guidelines for the practical application of this knowledge will be found in other, related unit standards and from the New Zealand Continence Association website at http://www.continence.org.nz/

      Feel free to look around as much as you like. If you are interested in taking this course for credit, please click here.

    • The human bladder and bowel function

      Continence is the term used to describe the normal method the body uses to get rid of the waste products that result from eating foods and drinking liquids.

      In this section you will learn about:

      • the male and female lower urinary tracts.
      • the muscles that control bladder and bowels.
      • the process the body uses in eliminating urine.
      • features of normal bladder function.
      • the human digestive system.
      • the process the body uses in eliminating solid waste (faeces).
      • features of normal bowel function.
    • Incontinence and its effects

      Incontinence is the term medical people use to describe the loss of control of the muscles the body uses to get rid of liquid and solid waste products (urine and faeces). It's not a disease in itself but is often linked to other medical or physical conditions.

      Incontinence can severely impact on a person's quality of life. People can experience urinary or faecal incontinence or a combination of both. However people can also experience problems with constipation which can also cause problems.

      In this section you will learn about:

      • common types and causes of urinary incontinence.
      • common types and causes of faecal incontinence.
      • observable indicators of urinary and faecal incontinence.
      • factors and/or barriers to maintaining continence.
      • the process of assessing a person experiencing  incontinence.
    • Interventions, products and practices for maintaining continence

      It's hard to imagine a worse situation - someone struggling to remain continent and not knowing what interventions, products and practices may assist them. Fortunately, in today's world, there are numerous interventions, products and infection control practices available to those who need them. Today, too, there are numerous books, pamphlets, DVDs and other educational material readily available. Help is at hand. It's just a matter of knowing where to find it – and how to put the information into action.

      The aim of any intervention should be to either assist a person to remain as continent as possible, or to manage the incontinence in a way that helps a person maintain their hygiene, dignity and comfort.

      In this section, you will learn about:

      • ways to assist a person with their toileting needs.
      • lifestyle interventions for management and treatment of incontinence.
      • selection, application, care, removal and disposal of continence products.
      • infection control practices.
    • Reporting requirements for people living with incontinence

      Timely and accurate reporting of any changes in a person's toileting behaviour, physical changes or signs of difficulty in remaining continent is very important in helping a person maintain as much bladder and bowel health, control, hygiene and/or comfort as possible.

      In this section you will learn about:

      • reporting requirements of changes in people living with incontinence according to an organisation's policies and procedures.

      Also, check out the decision making scenario "A Continence Care Dilemma".

    • End of course evaluation

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