Help!!! Test tomarrow and I need help!!!

  1. I have a test tomarrow and I don't understand the difference between a medical diagnosis and a nursing diagnosis. What draws the fine line between the two?
    •  
  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   weezieRN
    I don't know how to describe the difference but someone with a medical diagnosis of acute exacerbation of COPD would have a nursing diagnosis of altered respiration, CHF would be fluid volume excess etc. A medical diagnosis can never be used to prepare a care plan.
  4. by   jlynnRN
    a medical dx is something the md will decide. the nursing dx is what you would dx it with such as Risk for Injury r/t altered level of awareness. good luck.
  5. by   gordi24
    That helped explain it in simple words! Thank you so very much.
    Quote from weezieRN
    I don't know how to describe the difference but someone with a medical diagnosis of acute exacerbation of COPD would have a nursing diagnosis of altered respiration, CHF would be fluid volume excess etc. A medical diagnosis can never be used to prepare a care plan.
  6. by   gordi24
    I understand it now. I was having a difficult time with that. Thanx!!!
    Quote from gordi24
    That helped explain it in simple words! Thank you so very much.
  7. by   twarlik
    We learned that a medical dx describes a specific dz process and is oriented to pathology. A nursing dx, on the other hand, describes the response to the dz process and is oriented to the individual.

    Good luck on your exam.
  8. by   colleen10
    I know this message is late but another way to think of it is

    Nurses can assess a patient, but never diagnose a patient. That is the MD's job.

    Once the medical diagnosis is made the nurse can look at the medical diagnosis and think about the implications/complications it creates for the patient and then act to reduce or eliminate these complications.

    For example, the doctor can diagnose a patient with (CHF) Congestive Heart Failure.

    The nurse can continue to assess the condition of the patient and how they are physiologically and psychologically reacting to the CHF. She can then implement a plan that will help the patient cope with the CHF, such as having the patient remain in an upright position to more easily facilitate respirations, facilitate the patient's activities so that they do not get tired out or out of breath, assess the patient's mental status and how they feel about their diagnosis - are they depressed, worried, etc.

    The doctor will diagnose the physioligic problem the patient has. The nurse will look at the problem and think "how is this going to affect my patient?" "what can I do, so that they over come or cope with this condition?"

close