Nursing Dx for DKA patient

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    We finally have to start writing nursing dx and care plans, and I'm a little stuck on my second one. Doh! Here's my pt: admitted 10/29 with DKA (pH 7.30, BG >600, N/V, tremors, dizziness, SOB). I got her 10/31, the day she was to be d/c'd. She still c/o SOB, they did a VQ scan and a CXR and both were normal. All lung fields were clear to auscultation, RR, 16-18, Sp O2 97%. She described the SOB as "tight" with no to very little pain, and she didn't feel any worse when she got up to shower. So, I don't think any airway dx apply.

    No skin problems, no HEENT problems, no cardiac or GI problems, no MS problems, nothing else is wrong w/her. I did a full ROS and head to toe, no problems. Other vitals normal, BP elevated (140/74) in the morning, but down to 119/74 at lunch. Labs were mostly normal, HCT was slightly low(36.9%) but steadily rising, electrolytes all WNL, her glucose was still off a little - it had dropped to 59 overnight, back up to 132 in the morning, 135 at lunch. Still much better than >600. Hgb A1C was 7.4.

    The reason she gave for having DKA was that (at age 25) her mother (who is bipolar and schizophrenic, and she lives with) forgot to go get her 70/30. She tried to cover with just regular insulin that she had, and it obviously didn't work. She also expressed that she's a little depressed, since they recently moved here and she doesn't know a lot of people. She said she normally follows her regimen exactly, and was knowledgeable about her diet. She had trouble self-injecting in front of the nurse, but it was a different type of needle than she uses at home.

    I selected Ineffective Therapeutic Regime Management r/t social support deficit and economic difficulties aeb patient verbalized that she did not follow prescribed regime and elevated Hgb A1C.

    We're supposed to come up with "a few" dx, and I'm a little stuck on others. Should I use Deficient Knowledge? She seemed pretty knowledgeable, it was more about getting her own meds when she hasn't had to before. Social Isolation? She lives with her mom and stepdad, has a job, and applied to a college here.

    We don't get our patients the night before, we write the care plan after the fact based on what we assessed and what we did. Neither I nor my nurse had to DO much with her, I taught her how to do a breast self-exam, explained a lot of other stuff I was doing when I did my head to toe, asked her to describe her normal therapeutic regime and diet and she was right, she reminded me to get Equal for her coffee,...she had an EKG while I was there, it showed sinus tachycardia, but my nurse said that was likely anxiety. Should I use Anxiety? She wasn't that anxious...

    Sorry this is so long, and thanks in advance to anyone who can help!
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  4. 17 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    Hi,

    Don't go looking for nursing diagnosis for medical problems. It isn't how we do it. Regarldess of the diagnosis, our care plans are written for the patient and not their disorder.

    You mentioned SOB and then you overlooked it, why? You are right that it isn't an airway issue but it still is a breathing one.

    Airway
    Breathing
    Circulation

    If the patient states that she can not breathe, then apply the appriopriate nursing diagnosis. Do not NOT do it just because some tests came back. Your care plan is for the patient. Nursing is actual or perceived.

    Until you addressed ABC's, you shouldn't be entertaining Therapeutic Regimine Management. IMHO, that is more of a Maslows concern and I wouldn't do it until ABCs are done.

    Nursing assessments have to be very thorough. Sometimes its not what is said, but more of what isn't said. A client can deny having problems with let's say, breathing; however, they still exhibit sign and symptoms. Look for those!

    I know I have overgeneralized, but apparently I have to leave with my son and I have to go.

    I hope my post doesn't sound bad, it wasn't meant to be that way. Good Luck
  6. 0
    What else should I have looked for? I'm still really new at this. So you didn't offend me or anything, but I'm no closer to knowing what I should have done... Also, the care plan book that our school made us buy (Gulanick/Myers) has one chapter that describes about half the nursing dx in general, and the rest are organized by medical dx. If your patient doesn't exhibit the textbook S/S of whatever medical dx they have, it's a little hard to find things for me at least in this book. I would like to get another one, but haven't had the time to go page through a ton of them yet. Any suggestions? Thanks
  7. 1
    DKA is a problem related to dehydration (among other things), so that could be one as well. Fluid status.
    MB37 likes this.
  8. 0
    Thanks! Maybe Excess Fluid Volume, since she has dyspnea...her Na was 131 when she came in, but 138 on the day I had her. Her hematocrit was still low, and her BP was a little high. Awesome, thanks a lot!

    Oh, is r/t maybe excessive fluid intake? (IV) Since she was getting NS, which is isotonic? My nurse stopped her IV while I was there, although she didn't explain why. Maybe they overhydrated her. Her skin WAS tight - when I went to pinch for skin turgor, I couldn't even really get any skin between my fingers.
    Last edit by MB37 on Nov 3, '07 : Reason: another question
  9. 0
    But has the patient exhibited signs of fluid excess?? or fluid loss?? You can't just look at the typical signs of a med disorder and then slap a nursing dx on it. The nursing dx is for the patient. Yes, it will help greatly if you know pathophys and understand the physiological aspects of things... but we use nursing dx for the patients response to actual or perceived events.
  10. 0
    I get that...but she does have some S/S of FVE. I took patho last semester, but our book didn't have much to say about DKA (I just looked it up for the "patho" part of my care plan). This is only the second set of nursing diagnoses I've ever had to come up with, so I was hoping for a few suggestions. My care plan book is organized by medical dx, unfortunately, so that's what I have to work with. It doesn't fully describe every nursing diagnosis by iteslf, just how they relate to common medical dx. I understand that we don't have "standard" nursing dx that go with the medical ones, but I'm a beginning student and I tried to provide as much assessment data as I could in my opening post. Our instructor told us to focus on vitals and lab values, and any abnormalities in our head to toe assessment. I'm just looking for a place to start...all I have is the list of NANDA dx on the back cover, then I've been individually looking up some that sounded relevant. Most that I've looked up didn't really seem to fit my patient's S/S, but FVE seemed to, and could be the explanation for her SOB...I thought...
  11. 0
    Quote from Conrad283
    DKA is a problem related to dehydration (among other things), so that could be one as well. Fluid status.

    Yep! When we get DKAs, we just start IVF and open them wide-bolus after bolus.

    How did they treat her initially? You can say she is at risk for FVE r/t her treatment, or FVD if she is still dehydrated. What was her NS running at?

    What was her initial K+ level at? Was she ever placed on an insulin drip?

    Also, I've never seen someone go into DKA for missing one insulin dose. You mentioned that she is 25, but she is relying on her mother who has psych issues to obtain insulin, so you can address her inability to take control of her own disease process as well.

    I may sound cynical here-but when a 25 year old comes into us with DKA, we always do a tox screen. Did they do one of those, or get an alcohol level in the ED?
  12. 0
    Quote from PsychNurseWannaBe
    But has the patient exhibited signs of fluid excess?? or fluid loss?? You can't just look at the typical signs of a med disorder and then slap a nursing dx on it. The nursing dx is for the patient. Yes, it will help greatly if you know pathophys and understand the physiological aspects of things... but we use nursing dx for the patients response to actual or perceived events.

    She mentioned that the pt was tachycardic in her initial post. This could be due to dehydration-which is a very common situation in DKA.

    At the very minimum, I would say, Risk for FVD just based on her MEDICAL diagnosis alone.

    The OP knows what a nursing diagnosis is...she just needed help incorporating that into practice. But, just because it's a nursing diagnosis doesn't mean that you ignore the medical diagnosis...
    Last edit by cardiacRN2006 on Nov 3, '07
  13. 0
    My main point with this med vs nursing dx... is do your own assessment and plan the care accordingly. By looking for a nursing dx from a medical one does not address the patient. I have been seeing this all over the boards... I need a nursing dx for XXXX disorder. WHY? You saw the patient...and you can only formuate your nursing dx from a well done assessment, from what you actually saw.

    I was trying to help her explore the patient and not the medical diagnosis.


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