Structure function and disorders of the gastrointestinal tract

For the above reasons, therefore, a significant proportion of this book is concerned with the structure and function of the gastrointestinal tract and the disorders which arise. The management of these disorders is described and, while we have tried to emphasise aspects of nursing where these are unique, our general approach has been to present medical, surgical and nursing management without differentiation. As already stated, with the possible exception of nurses who want to find out more about the speciality, this book is mainly directed at those in the speciality. Even those outside the speciality will be registered nurses and to list repeatedly aspects of nursing care which are generic to all patient groups would be unnecessary. This book is designed to fill gaps in the essential knowledge needed to nurse in this area; knowledge and experience of nursing generally is assumed. Furthermore, nurses work as part of a multidisciplinary team and to specify their part is unrealistic, particularly when the boundaries between nursing, medicine and surgery are being blurred by advanced nursing practice.

As far as possible, the chapters in Section 1 follow the pattern described in Figure 1.1.

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