if you work in a facility like an acute hospital or a nursing home you are most likely going to have to do some written care plans
. however, the purpose of doing them is different from what it was in nursing school. in nursing school they were to help you learn to think critically and learn the nursing process. on the job, they are to actually plan for and direct the care of the patient. now, you are going to hear from a lot of people who tell you that they never look at the care plans at work. i would personally be embarrassed to admit that. i was one who did look at and contribute to them. along the way i learned a lot more about many other diseases and nursing care. i guarantee that none of us learned all there was to know in nursing school. no one is probably going to be breathing down your neck and forcing you to write care plans unless you have a manager who keeps track of who is doing them for input on individual employee's yearly evaluations. and, no, they are not going to be the novels you wrote in nursing school. they will, in general, be short, sweet, and to the point. each facility will have their way of how they want care plans done.
care plans are a skill like any other nursing skill. they require more cognitive dexterity than finger or body dexterity. you won't need to include rationales on care plans you write at work. and, you won't need to develop those l-o-n-g nursing diagnostic statements either. that was all to help you think critically and learn about nursing care. many places have a basic pre-printed shell of various care plans available for their nurses to use. jcaho caught on to this some time ago, however, and look to see that nurses make entries on these pre-printed care plans and are making efforts to individualize them for each patient. medicare requires that there be a written care plan on their hospitalized patients that becomes part of the permanent chart.
if you are still struggling with care plans, check out some of the information that is posted on these two threads on the nursing student forums.
you can always send me a private message if you have a question about writing any care plans. i answer a lot of care plan questions for students on the forums. i learned a long time ago that i was much better off facing my fears of things i had to do in nursing than going in to work on a daily basis worried about the possibility of coming face to face with having to perform a nursing skill that i was scared to death of not being able to do. it was what forced me to become better at iv's, chest tubes and care plans over the years. i recommend you do the same. it takes a big load of worry off your mind.
let me welcome you to allnurses. see you on the forums!