Nursing Care Plan For Jejunostomy Tube

Nursing Care Plan For Jejunostomy Tube


A jejunostomy tube, also known as a J-tube, is a medical device that is surgically inserted through the abdominal wall into the jejunum, a part of the small intestine. This tube is used to provide enteral nutrition, hydration, and medication when a patient is unable to take food or fluids by mouth or when bypassing the stomach is medically necessary.

Developing a nursing care plan for a patient with a jejunostomy tube is essential to ensure safe and effective management of this medical intervention. The care plan focuses on several critical aspects, including tube site care, enteral nutrition administration, patient education, and monitoring for potential complications.

Nurses play a pivotal role in caring for patients with jejunostomy tubes, as they are responsible for not only maintaining the tube’s function but also promoting the patient’s comfort, nutrition, and overall well-being. This care plan serves as a guide for nurses to deliver evidence-based, patient-centered care to individuals with jejunostomy tubes.

Nursing Assessment for Jejunostomy Tube:

Assessing a patient with a jejunostomy tube is a crucial step in ensuring their well-being, monitoring for complications, and optimizing enteral nutrition. Here is a comprehensive nursing assessment for a patient with a jejunostomy tube:

1. Patient’s Medical History:

  • Review the patient’s medical history, including the reason for the jejunostomy tube placement, underlying medical conditions, and any allergies or sensitivities.
  • Document the date of tube insertion, the type of tube used, and any previous complications or issues related to the tube.

2. Tube Site Assessment:

  • Inspect the jejunostomy tube insertion site for signs of infection, redness, swelling, or discharge.
  • Assess the condition of the dressing and securement of the tube to ensure it remains in place.

3. Tube Function and Patency:

  • Verify the functionality and patency of the jejunostomy tube by checking for proper placement and the absence of kinks or obstructions.
  • Confirm tube placement through appropriate methods, such as aspiration of gastric contents or tube feeding administration under radiologic guidance if indicated.

4. Enteral Nutrition Assessment:

  • Evaluate the prescribed enteral nutrition regimen, including the type of formula, feeding schedule, and rate.
  • Monitor the patient’s tolerance of enteral feeds, assessing for signs of intolerance such as abdominal pain, distension, diarrhea, or vomiting.

5. Gastrointestinal Symptoms:

  • Assess the patient for gastrointestinal symptoms, including nausea, bloating, cramping, or changes in bowel habits.
  • Document any signs of gastrointestinal distress or complications.

6. Fluid Balance and Hydration:

  • Monitor the patient’s fluid balance, including intake and output, to prevent dehydration or overhydration.
  • Assess for signs of dehydration, such as dry mucous membranes, decreased urine output, or changes in vital signs.

7. Pain Assessment:

  • Evaluate the patient’s comfort and pain level related to the jejunostomy tube, insertion site, or abdominal discomfort.
  • Administer prescribed pain medications and assess their effectiveness.

8. Skin Care:

  • Assess the skin around the jejunostomy tube site for irritation, breakdown, or pressure injuries.
  • Implement preventive measures, such as using skin protectants or barrier creams as needed.

9. Medication Administration:

  • Ensure that medications prescribed for administration via the jejunostomy tube are compatible with enteral routes and are administered according to a safe and accurate protocol.

10. Patient and Caregiver Education:

  • Educate the patient and their caregivers on the purpose of the jejunostomy tube, proper tube care, signs of complications, and the importance of maintaining tube patency.
  • Provide written instructions and contact information for addressing concerns or emergencies.

A comprehensive nursing assessment for a patient with a jejunostomy tube is essential for early detection of complications, effective tube management, and promoting the patient’s comfort and nutrition. Regular monitoring, patient education, and communication with the healthcare team are key elements of providing optimal care to these patients.

Nursing Diagnoses for Jejunostomy Tube:

1. Risk for Infection related to the presence of the jejunostomy tube and potential contamination:

  • The insertion of a jejunostomy tube provides a direct route for potential infection, making it essential to monitor for signs of infection and follow aseptic techniques.

2. Imbalanced Nutrition: Less Than Body Requirements related to the need for enteral nutrition and potential complications of tube feeding:

  • Patients with a jejunostomy tube rely on enteral nutrition for their nourishment, and any interruption or complications with tube feeding can result in inadequate nutrition.

3. Risk for Aspiration related to the potential for reflux and aspiration of gastric contents into the jejunum:

  • Patients with a jejunostomy tube may be at risk for aspiration due to the altered flow of gastric contents, which could lead to respiratory complications.

4. Impaired Skin Integrity related to tube site friction, pressure, or irritation:

  • The presence of the jejunostomy tube can cause skin irritation and breakdown around the insertion site, especially if the tube is not secured properly or if skin care measures are inadequate.

5. Deficient Knowledge related to the care and management of the jejunostomy tube:

  • Patients and caregivers may lack knowledge about proper tube care, potential complications, and signs to watch for, which can impact the tube’s function and the patient’s overall well-being.

6. Risk for Fluid Volume Imbalance related to the management of enteral feeds and fluid intake:

  • Maintaining proper fluid balance is essential when managing enteral feeds, as imbalances can lead to dehydration or overhydration, impacting the patient’s overall health.

Nursing diagnoses for patients with a jejunostomy tube guide care and interventions aimed at preventing complications, promoting adequate nutrition, and providing education and support to patients and their caregivers. These diagnoses help nurses address the physical, emotional, and educational needs of patients who require enteral nutrition through a jejunostomy tube.

Nursing Interventions for Jejunostomy Tube:

1. Jejunostomy Tube Site Care:

  • Perform daily site assessment, checking for signs of infection, redness, swelling, or discharge.
  • Cleanse the site gently with mild soap and water or as per institutional protocol.
  • Secure the tube using appropriate dressing and ensure it remains in the correct position.

2. Enteral Nutrition Administration:

  • Ensure that enteral nutrition is administered according to the prescribed schedule, formula type, and rate.
  • Verify the placement of the jejunostomy tube before initiating feeds, which may include checking pH or using an X-ray confirmation method.
  • Use aseptic technique during formula preparation and administration.

3. Medication Administration:

  • Administer medications via the jejunostomy tube as prescribed, ensuring compatibility with the tube and enteral feeds.
  • Flush the tube with water before and after medication administration to prevent clogs.

4. Patient Positioning:

  • Keep the patient’s head elevated at a 30-45 degree angle during and after feeding to reduce the risk of aspiration.
  • Position the patient on their right side to facilitate the passage of formula into the jejunum.

5. Assessment of Gastric Residuals:

  • If indicated, check for gastric residuals before each feed to assess tolerance and prevent aspiration.
  • Follow institutional guidelines for the management of gastric residuals.

6. Skin Care and Pressure Prevention:

  • Protect the skin around the jejunostomy tube site from friction and pressure by using appropriate dressings or barrier creams.
  • Rotate the tube insertion site as needed to minimize skin irritation.

7. Hydration and Fluid Balance:

  • Monitor the patient’s fluid intake and output closely, ensuring that hydration needs are met.
  • Adjust enteral feeds and additional fluid intake as necessary to maintain proper fluid balance.

8. Patient and Caregiver Education:

  • Provide comprehensive education to the patient and their caregivers about jejunostomy tube care, including proper cleaning, dressing changes, and signs of complications.
  • Teach patients and caregivers how to administer feeds and medications accurately.
  • Emphasize the importance of maintaining strict aseptic technique.

9. Pain Management:

  • Assess and manage any pain or discomfort associated with the jejunostomy tube insertion site or abdominal discomfort.
  • Administer prescribed pain medications and evaluate their effectiveness.

10. Monitoring and Documentation:

  • Regularly assess the patient’s tolerance to enteral feeds, including signs of nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea.
  • Maintain accurate documentation of tube site care, enteral nutrition administration, medication administration, and patient response.

Nursing interventions for patients with jejunostomy tubes aim to maintain the tube’s function, prevent complications, and promote the patient’s comfort and overall well-being. These interventions require attention to detail, strict adherence to aseptic techniques, and effective patient and caregiver education to ensure successful management of enteral nutrition through the jejunostomy tube.


In conclusion, the nursing care plan for patients with a jejunostomy tube is an essential framework for ensuring the safe and effective management of enteral nutrition, hydration, and medication administration. Jejunostomy tubes play a vital role in providing nourishment to patients who are unable to take food orally or require bypassing of the stomach for medical reasons.

This care plan underscores the significance of meticulous tube site care, adherence to proper enteral nutrition protocols, and vigilant monitoring for potential complications. Additionally, it highlights the crucial role of patient and caregiver education in ensuring the patient’s and family’s ability to manage the jejunostomy tube safely and effectively.

Nurses are central to the success of jejunostomy tube management, offering both clinical expertise and emotional support to patients and their families. By following this care plan, nurses contribute significantly to the patient’s well-being, comfort, and overall quality of life while undergoing enteral nutrition through a jejunostomy tube.

Effective collaboration with the healthcare team, adherence to best practices, and a commitment to patient-centered care are the cornerstones of successful Jejunostomy tube management. This care plan serves as a roadmap for nurses to provide holistic, evidence-based care, ultimately improving the patient’s health and ensuring a smoother journey toward recovery or improved quality of life.


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