A nursing student has auscultated a patients abdomen and noted one or two bowel sounds in a 2-minute period of time. How would you tell the student to document the patients bowel sounds?

Answer Explanation: Documenting bowel sounds is based on assessment findings. The terms normal (sounds heard about every 5 to 20 seconds), hypoactive (one or two sounds in 2 minutes), hyperactive (5 to 6 sounds heard in less than 30 seconds), or absent (no sounds in 3 to 5 minutes) are frequently used in documentation. Paralytic ileus is a medical diagnosis that may cause absent or hypoactive bowel sounds, but the nurse would not independently document this diagnosis.

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