PREPARING A PATIENT FOR CT SCAN OF THE ABDOMEN
Off late, CT scan has become one of the popular diagnostic tests used by many medical practitioners to investigate into the health status of their patient. It has therefore become necessary for the nurse practitioner to have a very good knowledge base on the mode of operation of the diagnostic investigation in order to guide her (the nurse) prepare her patient for the test.
Nothing looks more disgraceful than to go through all the hell to wheel your patient to a laboratory centre only to be told that the patient has not satisfy one or two or this or that requirements.
You feel awful and stabbed but can only do nothing more than to shamefully wheel your patient back to the ward. This is why it is imperative for the nurse, no matter the rank or qualification to have a fair idea of every laboratory investigation to avoid such occurrences.
Preparing a patient for Abdominal CT Scan is not far different from Head CT scan; which is common in most Ghanaian hospitals. For instance removal of metal objects such as jewellery, eyeglasses, dentures and hairpins are done in every CT scan investigation irrespective of the anatomical location.
In preparing a patient for CT scan of the abdomen, the NURSE must ensure that
Ø All metallic objects, including jewellery, eyeglasses, dentures and hairpins are removed, prior to the exam as they affect the CT images.
Ø Also, all hearing aids and bras with metallic underwire must be removed.
Ø The patient must be informed that a contrast media will be given either per IV or oral.
Ø The patient must maintain NPO at least 6hours before the procedure as the contrast media may cause stomach upset.
Ø The nurse must assess the patient of any allergies to the contrast media and inform the appropriate authority if there is any for intervention.
Ø Patient taking Metformin must withhold on their medication for a while before the test
Generally CT scan of the abdomen is a painless procedure however; cooperation of the patient during the procedure largely depends on the level of preparation before the procedure.
By Assandoh De Nurse