The nurse assesses a patient with a small bowel obstruction and an NG tube set to intermittent wall suction. The patient has been reluctant to ambulate and is complaining of continued pain and nausea. The nurse determines a nursing diagnosis of acute pain with a goal to reach the patient's acceptable pain level of 4 out of 10 by the end of shift. Which is the most appropriate intervention to meet that goal?


•A combination of ambulation and analgesia is the most effective method to relieve the pain from a bowel obstruction.

•Immobility decreases peristalsis. In a patient with a bowel obstruction due to adhesions, it is important to encourage activity to stimulate peristalsis. This can help relieve pain by resolving the obstruction.  Continued immobility will lengthen the recovery time, increase pain, and potentially result in the patient needing surgical release of the obstruction.

•The other choices are incorrect because immobility and increasing the narcotic analgesia will decrease peristalsis and increase the patient's pain.

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