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CNH26 Provide Colon Hydrotherapy to clients


Focusing specifically on digestion, bowel function and bowel motility, colon hydrotherapy facilitates the management of chronic and/or occasional functional and some organic gastrointestinal problems, offering relief from a wide range of symptoms. Colon hydrotherapy may be utilised to prepare the large bowel for colonoscopy procedures and cleansing / detoxification. The colon hydrotherapist will undertake an assessment of the client's general health and specifically their digestive function before the first treatment. Therapists need to be aware of red flags and contra-indications and should apply their knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology in cases where they need to decline treatment and refer clients to suitable medical professionals. Clients may be seen on a single occasion or over a period of time on multiple occasions. The colon hydrotherapist will monitor the progress of the client and adapt the support and advice given, as well as the frequency and number of treatments according to the client's individual needs. Colon hydrotherapists are autonomous practitioners usually in the private sector, individually or in a clinic setting. Their therapeutic approach is client centered, and uses colon hydrotherapy techniques together with health education and promotion. Users of this standard will need to ensure that practice reflects up to date information and policies. Version No 1

Knowledge and Understanding

You will need to know and understand:
  1. the current national legislation, guidelines, organisational policies and protocols which affect your work practice
  2. the policies and guidance that clarify your scope of practice, accountabilities and the working relationship between yourself and others
  3. the structure, function, location and interaction of glands, organs and systems of the body:
    1. skeletal
    2. muscular
    3. skin
    4. vascular
    5. lymphatic
    6. neurological
    7. endocrine
    8. respiratory
    9. digestive
    10. genito-urinary
    11. reproductive
  4. the gastrointestinal tract, associated organs and autonomic nervous system
  5. the integration of the gastrointestinal tract, associated organs and autonomic nervous systems and their role in detoxification pathways
  6. the changes and clinical features of a broad range of common diseases of the gastrointestinal tract
  7. common terminology used in the pathology of gastrointestinal diseases and gastrointestinal disorders
  8. how psychological states affect the colon
  9. the actions and side effects of the major classes of drugs used for gastrointestinal diseases and disorders and how to access information about pharmaceuticals
  10. the actions and side effects of other drugs on the gastrointestinal tract
  11. how to recognise interactions between food, drugs, herbs and supplements and how to access information
  12. how to source and order laboratory tests when clinically indicated
  13. the ways in which complementary practitioners work with medical practitioners
  14. the principles and purpose of standards for infection prevention and control
  15. how to ensure the safe decontamination of equipment and environments
  16. how to minimise the risk of cross contamination to maintain a safe environment
  17. the importance of ensuring the treatment room is set up and equipped prior to each client in accordance with agreed guidelines
  18. how to minimise the risk of spreading infection when removing and laundering used linen
  19. how to dispose of clinical and non-clinical waste correctly in accordance with agreed guidelines
  20. the importance of wearing professional and/or personal protective clothing to carry out the treatment in accordance with agreed guidelines
  21. the importance of personal hygiene in the prevention of cross contamination and how to maintain high standards of personal hygiene at all times
  22. how to perform hand hygiene to prevent the spread of infectious agents
  23. how to communicate with clients in a manner which suits the individual client's needs
  24. how to communicate effectively seeking consent, ensuring the client feels safe, in control and relaxed at all times
  25. how to position the client for optimal treatment outcome whilst maintaining comfort and dignity
  26. how to recognise red flags and contraindications and the appropriate action to take should the treatment be contraindicated
  27. how to recognise clients' responses and make any necessary adjustments or terminate treatment
  28. how to vary water flow, volume and temperature in response to feedback from the client
  29. how to allow the client's body and responses to determine the length of treatment
  30. how to administer rectal implants and enemas when clinically indicated
  31. how to administer abdominal massage
  32. the appropriate response in relation to an emergency situation
  33. how to provide after care advice and self-care measures:
    1. to support the effects of treatment
    2. about specific conditions
    3. about any possible reactions to treatment
  34. basic lifestyle requirements for health and wellbeing and how to provide advice on healthy eating
  35. when to recognise completion of the client's therapeutic intervention as part of the treatment plan
  36. how to evaluate the outcomes and effectiveness of the colon hydrotherapy treatment to support future plans and actions
  37. how to maintain clear, accurate records and keep records safely stored and secured in line with organisational requirements

Performance Criteria

You must be able to do the following:
  1. confirm that the environment meets the client's needs
  2. prepare the treatment room, colon hydrotherapy equipment and materials and ensure they are suitable, clean and safe for use
  3. review records of assessment and/or previous treatment notes prior to the session commencing
  4. communicate with the client in a manner appropriate to the client's understanding, and address any questions they may have
  5. ensure you apply standard precautions for infection prevention and control
  6. ensure you are wearing the appropriate personal protective clothing prior to starting the treatment session
  7. prepare yourself to provide colon hydrotherapy
  8. position the client for effective treatment and to give as much comfort as possible
  9. examine the client's abdomen and rectum prior to beginning colon hydrotherapy to confirm safety of the treatment
  10. ensure safe insertion of the speculum into the client's rectum, maintaining the client's dignity
  11. undertake the colon hydrotherapy treatment safely, correctly and in accordance with agreed guidelines
  12. monitor the client's well-being throughout and provide reassurance where needed
  13. recognise clients' responses to the colon hydrotherapy treatment and make any necessary adjustments to meet any changing needs or terminate the treatment session
  14. respond appropriately to emergency situations to ensure the safety of yourself, your colleagues and clients
  15. communicate your evaluation of the treatment to the client providing accurate information to support your assessment
  16. provide the client with any specific after care and/or self-care advice and information
  17. dispose of waste and disposable equipment in accordance with organisational procedures
  18. evaluate the outcomes and effectiveness of the colon hydrotherapy treatment to support future plans and actions
  19. ensure that when referring to or collaborating with other healthcare providers, communication is accurate and supports the needs of the client
  20. complete and maintain records in accordance with organisational requirements

Additional Information

This National Occupational Standard was developed by Skills for Health. This standard links with the following dimension within the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (October 2004): Dimension: HWB7 Interventions and treatments Related Functions Core Elements for Colon Hydrotherapy Principles of Good Practice
CNH26 Provide Colon Hydrotherapy to clients
Final version approved March 2017 © copyright Skills For Health,
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