the following is from the nanda blog site, to which i commend your attention. http://nandainternational.typepad.co...international/
what is nursing diagnosis - and why should i care?
one of the most frequent questions we get goes something like this...."my patient has congestive heart failure. what is the highest priority/most likely nursing diagnosis?"
there is no right answer, because it's the wrong question! assigning a nursing diagnosis based on a medical diagnosis skips several steps essential to optimal and safe patient care. a medical diagnosis is only one piece of the puzzle; it does not by itself, provide the depth of information necessary to make an accurate nursing diagnosis.
what is a nursing diagnosis?
maybe the easiest thing is to start with what a nursing diagnosis is not.
a nursing diagnosis is not:
- merely a label that you make up that "sounds like" it explains what you are seeing in your patient.
- another way of explaining the medical diagnosis, or of renaming a medical condition.
- something that "goes with a particular medical diagnosis".
nursing diagnosis is defined as "a clinical judgment about individual, family, or community experiences/responses to actual or potential health problems/life processes. a nursing diagnosis provides the basis for selection of nursing interventions to achieve outcomes for which the nurse has accountability." (herdman, 2012, p. 515).
in other words, a nursing diagnosis is a judgment based on a comprehensive nursing assessment.
the medical diagnosis provides one important piece of data, but it does not provide anywhere near the depth of information necessary for making an accurate nursing diagnosis.
why should you care?
because an accurate nursing diagnosis based on a thorough assessment results in more effective and safer patient care. period.
let's take a look at an example:
a man is admitted through the emergency department with a medical diagnosis of viral pneumonia with the following profile:
- age 78;
- dyspneic and demonstrating very shallow breathing;
- pulse oximeter is showing 90% on 4l of o2;
- history of copd.
what is the primary nursing diagnosis? did you think of impaired gas exchange? seems obvious, doesn't it, considering the data and medical diagnosis? however, the question the nurse should ask is this: "what is causing the low spo2?"
after completing a thorough assessment, the nurse discusses her findings with the patient, including the very shallow breathing. she learns the patient is breathing shallowly because he's in pain. he's suffering from postherpetic neuralgia as a result of a very painful course of shingles. in this example, the assessment-based, primary nursing diagnosis is chronic pain.
consider these two scenarios:
nursing diagnosis linked to the medical diagnosis
a care plan is developed to address the nursing diagnosis of impaired gas exchange, based on the medical diagnosis of viral pneumonia. the posthepatic neuralgia as a cause for shallow breathing is not identified and overlooked in treatment.
nursing diagnosis linked to nursing assessment and critical thinking
a care plan is developed to address the nursing diagnosis of chronic pain, with treatment designed to resolve this as the primary cause of the shallow breathing, and to prevent recurrence.
which scenario provides the best patient care and outcome? what do you think the relationship is - or is not - between medical diagnosis and nursing diagnosis?
nanda-i 2012 conference: may 23-26, 2012
nanda-i nursing diagnoses: definitions and classifcation 2012-2014
nanda-i frequently-asked questions
nanda-i fact sheet
Jan 31, '12
Nursing diagnoses in LTC are extremely important and they are formally written and acted upon in that setting. In acute care, nursing dx may very well be used, but in a much more informal and intuitive way, i.e. we don't even consciously realize we are making them. NANDA created a nursing language that no nurse wants to speak--and no other medical professional wants to learn--but the idea of a nursing diagnosis and the nursing process is there nonetheless in our work every day.
ETA: Altered sleep pattern r/t hospitalization as evidenced by pt stating "I can't sleep" and pt opening eyes during during rounds at night. Interventions: pulling privacy curtain, closing window blinds, turning off roommate's TV, closing room door, maintaining quiet at the nurse's station. Evaluation: Pt did not open eyes during subsequent rounds. Pt stated "I slept a little bit during the night" during final morning rounds and med pass.
Sounds stupid and a real "DUH!" moment when formally written, but that's what we do without thinking about it.
Last edit by dudette10 on Jan 31, '12
Jan 31, '12
"critical thinking does not have a place in nursing"
that's a joke, right?
of course we need to understand the medical model and differentials; we can use a lot of that data to bear on our model of care. and we also need to understand what we bring to the table, which is not merely slavish adherence to the medical model of care. we need to understand that what we bring to the table can be quantified, measured, and evaluated on its own merits.
as for leaving nanda behind when you took your nclex...well, i am in the middle of doing a case that is paying me every day, well, shall we say, more than i used to earn in a week just working as a medical model implementer, and it is based on the nursing process and nursing diagnosis. but hey.
Last edit by nurseprnRN on Jan 31, '12