After undergoing throat surgery as part of his cancer treatment, Dr. Clint B. temporarily needed to rely on a feeding
tube to maintain proper nutrition. Even with
a PhD in psychology and after years of conducting research in technology, gaming, and
learning outcomes, Dr. B. was surprised to
find that he and his caregiver were woefully
ill-prepared for his feeding tube experience.
“We ended up being unnecessarily frustrated, worried, and stressed during an
already difficult time. This led to several
calls and visits to health care providers. We
felt our anxiety and these visits could have
been avoided had we been adequately prepared,” Dr. B. said at the American College
of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress 2011
Panel Session, What Do I Do When I Get
Home?: Pre-Operative Skills Training for Your
Dr. B. went on to explain that he was so
affected by his difficult experience that he
decided to find out whether other patients
who had used or were using feeding tubes
shared his frustration. He invited patients
from a variety of medical support blogs to
describe the challenges they had encountered
when using feeding tubes. Dr. B. received
responses from 76 individuals who raised such
common questions as the following:
• What can go in the tube?
•How do I clear an obstruction?
•How can I clean it without damaging it?
•Why does the tube keep coming loose when
moving about and is this dangerous?
Based on the concerns that the respondents
offered, Dr. B. reported, “Although the use
of a feeding tube may seem elementary, the
data suggest that these aids are anything but
AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SURGEONS | DIVISION OF EDUCATION
Blended Surgical Education and Training for Life
Surgical professionals now have a validated
training program that supports the patient’s
and caretaker’s transition to home.
This innovative program delivers standardized
skill-based training to promote confidence in home
care and support a safe and optimal recovery.
Feeding Tube HOME SKILLS KIT©
FIGURE 1. FEEDING TUBE HOME SKILLS KIT