Medical Surgical Diverticulitis vs Diverticulosis #3


Your client has been newly diagnosed with severe diverticulitis and will require surgery. You begin to develop a care plan for your client. Which nursing diagnosis will need to be added to the care plan? Select all that apply.


  1. Chronic Pain (RLQ)
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because your clients’ pain should decrease and dissipate when inflammation decreases. Chronic pain lasts longer than 3-6 months. Acute pain is pain that resolves when cause no longer exists. Also, the pain experienced with a client with diverticulitis is left lower quadrant pain, not right lower quadrant pain. Right lower quadrant pain is associated with appendicitis.

  2. Chronic constipation
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because inflammation of the bowels causes blockage of bowel and inability to eliminate waste causing constipation. Knowing and understanding foods high in fiber, such as whole grains, will help teach the client which foods are best to reduce the risk of chronic constipation.

  3. Deficient knowledge regarding disease process
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because the client has been newly diagnosed with diverticulitis and will require information on the disease process, diet changes, and symptoms to report. Diverticulitis is an infection of the outpouchings on the lining of the intestines.

  4. Risk for excess fluid volume
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because excessive fluid volume is not associated with diverticulosis. If the client was in severe pain, vomiting, these symptoms may place the client in a dehydrated state.

  5. Risk for infection post bowel resection
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because infection is an associated risk of surgery. This can be especially true if a client has surgery on the bowel. Perforation can occur and cause severe infection.


Nursing diagnosis associated with surgery and for newly diagnosed severe diverticulitis include “Chronic constipation”, “Deficient knowledge regarding disease process” and “Risk of infection”.


Learning Outcomes

Diverticulosis is when pockets (diverticula) form within the walls of the intestine, mostly in the large intestine. The diverticula occurs due to the inner part of the intestine pushing through weak areas in the lining of the intestine. The pressure creates these small pouches. The client will report left lower quadrant pain, chronic constipation, bloating, cramping, and gas. A newly diagnosed client with severe diverticulitis will have a knowledge deficit regarding the disease process (at minimum). Any client who has surgery will have a risk for infection. Each of these nursing diagnoses are indicative of the needs of the client, and the nursing process should be followed to assure a good client outcome.

Test Taking Tip

Read the question thoroughly, then review your answers, think about what the question is asking and answer with the best choices accordingly.

Video Rationale