Does anyone think nursing diagnoses are just plain silly?

  1. Does anyone think nursing diagnoses are just plain silly - overly literal and laughably complex? (please see examples at end of this post)

    Are we trying so hard to legitimize nursing as a profession that we resort to such silly, "uniquely nursing" language? I think it was a waste of energy to have devoted so much time to developing this "uniquely nursing" language.

    That energy could have been so much more constructively applied in, say, lobbying Congress to improve nursing working conditions and, say, public service announcements showing the public why nursing IS a profession & one that should be respected!

    I mean, why can't we just use the same language as docs? We're all grown-ups with a pretty good grip on health sciences terminology - after all, we went to school in the subject! A pulmonary embolism is a pulmonary embolism. Constipation is constipation. I know the NDs give us "cues" as to what nurses can specifically & autonomously treat, but c'mon....

    Do we really expect docs to read over such silly "diagnostic" language?

    Some cases in point from my nursing textbook are provided below, with real-world translations. (Feel free to contribute others, either fictional or actual!)

    Forgive me if I seem overly facetious or sarcastic. But these are nursing dx's really suggested by my textbook, and I found them not a little ridiculous:

    NURSING DIAGNOSIS-ESE: "Impaired gas exchange related to interference with the diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the capillaries and cells secondary to excess fluid volume." (DUH!! That's how the lungs work!)
    TRANSLATION: Patient has pulmonary edema.

    NURSING DIAGNOSIS-ESE: "Constipation related to inadequate amount of fluid to provide volume for stool formation." (Ah! Didn't know constipation involved dry poos.)
    TRANSLATION: Patient is dehydrated and constipated.

    NURSING DIAGNOSIS-ESE: "Impaired gas exchange related to decreased volume of blood available to transport respiratory gases secondary to deficient fluid volume" (Yes! The blood DOES carry oxygen and CO2!)
    TRANSLATION: Pulmonary problems related to hypovolemia.

    NURSING DIAGNOSIS-ESE: "Fatigue related to altered cellular metabolism secondary to deficient fluid" (Yes! Cellular metabolism does affect the body!)
    TRANSLATON: Fatigue related to hypovolemia.
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  2. 132 Comments

  3. by   RNperdiem
    Once you begin to practice as a nurse, you will be finished with all that. Yes, those nursing diagnoses are silly.
  4. by   ERRNTraveler
    Yes, they're silly, and when you are done with school, you won't see them again....
  5. by   marie-francoise
    P.S. In nursing diagnoses, it's like we have to desperately dance around a medical term, since God forbid we actually use MEDICAL terminology! Actually NAMING a disease? (unheard of!)

    So, the end result is that we get a silly, overly literal mini-lesson on how gas exchange works when all we should say is, for example, "pulmonary edema".
  6. by   RN1980
    instead of wasting time teaching us defunct nsg dx's, they should've been teaching us how to charge for our services and how to empower us more as a group as whole so we can actually occur some type of change concerning the healthcare field.
  7. by   ERRNTraveler
    I work in the ER, if I brought a chart to one of the docs and said "they're having impaired gas exchange" they'd look at me like I was on crack! When a doc asks me "what's wrong with this pt?" I'll just say, "they're having an asthma attack/COPD exacerbation/probably have pneumonia/etc....."
  8. by   RNAnnjeh
    I too, used to think that nursing diagnoses and elaborate care plans were silly. Until I started teaching nursing students.

    Then the lightbulb turned on.....

    They teach you how to think like a nurse.
  9. by   SuesquatchRN
    Ridiculously silly.
  10. by   Medic04
    I have to laugh at them and you are 100 % right. I mean no Doctor I work with reads them. We are so busy , that we are lucky to even get a chance to put them in the computer and make them indivual for each pt thank you JACHO for making my days longer and even less time with our pts. I mean is it not enough just to pick them but then to Nit pick............
  11. by   MIA-RN
    I think that they are great learning tools for students because they teach the way to think but in practice afterwards....well, they don't do much for me although I will say I have used them in notes now and again.
  12. by   fultzymom
    The only people in my facility who actually use them are the MDS nurse (me), the social worker, and the activity staff and dietician. When you are done with school you will probably not use them again.
  13. by   Jokerhill
    No one outside of nursing can understand them or the reason for them, they just don't fit and make you sound like you are guessing at what the problem is. It certainty does not do what is was suppose to do,
    Quote " Are we trying so hard to legitimize nursing as a profession that we resort to such silly, "uniquely nursing" language? I think it was a waste of energy to have devoted so much time to developing this "uniquely nursing" language. " It actually just makes us seem like morons, waisting or time. And for JACHO to make them mandatory just makes them also seem like a just another waist full government bureaucracy. Jeff
  14. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from RNAnnjeh
    I too, used to think that nursing diagnoses and elaborate care plans were silly. Until I started teaching nursing students.

    Then the lightbulb turned on.....

    They teach you how to think like a nurse.
    I agree . . . even though I hated them in school. And I don't use them at all now.

    It is a learning tool.

    steph

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