Continence Nurse is a Registered Nurse who has developed specialist skills in assisting people with bladder and bowel management.
What is Incontinence
Incontinence is a term that describes any accidental or involuntary loss of urine from the bladder (urinary incontinence) or bowel motion, faeces or wind from the bowel (faecal or bowel incontinence).
Incontinence is a widespread condition that ranges in severity from ‘just a small leak’ to complete loss of bladder or bowel control. In fact, over 4.8 million Australians have bladder or bowel control problems for a variety of reasons. Incontinence can be treated and managed. In many cases it can also be cured.
Types of Incontinence
There are different types of incontinence with a number of possible causes. The following are the most common:
- stress incontinence
- urge incontinence
- incontinence associated with chronic retention, and
- functional incontinence.
When assessing your problems the Continence Advisor may ask questions related to:
- your symptoms
- how often they occur
- specific times of the day (day or night) or activities (exercise, laughing, coughing) that seem to bring them on
- food or drinks that cause or worsen your symptoms, and
- a list of your current medications
They may also ask you……
- Do you sometimes feel you have not completely emptied your bladder?
- Do you have to rush to use the toilet?
- Are you frequently nervous because you think you might lose control of your bladder or bowel?
- Do you wake up twice or more during the night to go to the toilet?
- Do you sometimes leak before you get to the toilet?
- Do you sometimes leak when you lift something heavy, sneeze, cough or laugh?
- Do you sometimes leak when you exercise or play sport?
- Do you sometimes leak when you change from a seated or lying position to a standing position?
- Do you strain to empty to bowel?
- Do you sometimes soil your underwear?
- Do you plan your daily routine around where the nearest toilet is?
Support and Help for Continence
The Continence Nurse will assist you with management of your condition by education (about how much to drink and food types to facilitate management), pelvic floor exercises, how to sit on the toilet, bladder training program, medication and incontinence aids such as pads, catheters or condom drainage.