Help with Goals and Outcomes

  1. I just took a fundamentals exam (1st one) this week. I studied for 13 hours (it was over 16 chapters), and I only got an 80! I think have trouble differentiating goals and outcomes? My book puts them under the same heading and I swear they look the same...any help is appreciated!
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    About blur411

    Joined: Dec '07; Posts: 78; Likes: 13


  3. by   Daytonite
    according to what i have read in various works by carpenito:
    • goals are the predicted results of collaborative nursing actions. collaborative nursing actions are those things nurses can only do for patients with an order of a physician or with the assistance of another healthcare provider--things like administer medications or provide certain treatments such as pt speech therapy, dietary consults, etc. some of these providers are licensed to perform a service that we cannot.
    • outcomes are the predicted results of our independent nursing actions. independent nursing actions are those things that a nurse can prescribe, or order, for a patient as allowed by our license and do not require a physician order.
  4. by   blur411
    Thanks Daytonite, but comparing that with an example my book has doesnt seem to fit for me still.

    Heres an example from my book Fundamentals of Nursing by Potter and Perry

    "For example, the nurse and client, who has one-sided cerebral vascular accident might develop the following goal: "Client's musculoskeletal system remains free of breakdown or contractures." A series of realistic outcomes would then be established to assist the client in meething this goal. These outcomes may include the following:
    • Client's skin is clean, dry and intact without signs of inflammation.
    • Clients skin remains elastic and well hydrated.
    • Client's rang of join motion reamins within normal limits on both affected and unaffected side."
    What I get from this is that the goal is a generalized idea that you are striving for, and the outcomes are more individualized "mini goals" that fall under the umbrella of the original goal. Is this correct? Since they look so simillar when written, I have trouble differentiating it.
  5. by   Daytonite
    i have generally accepted carpenitos thinking on this since she has been a leader in nanda for many years. i recently tried going through information in my copy of nursing outcomes classification (noc) by sue moorhead, marion johnson and meridean maas trying to find what they had to say about this and wasn't finding anything. in some of the care plan threads i have seen some students refer to goals as solving of the overall problem of the nursing diagnosis, or reversal of the nursing problem (the nursing problem goes away because it no longer exists).

    i would go to one of your profs about this and ask them what the difference is. i think it's vague enough to be debatable and finding literature on it is certainly difficult. another suggestion would be to write to the person who authored the chapter in potter and perry on this and query them or see if there if there is a reference at the end of the textbook chapter that covers outcomes or nursing process and pull it and look at it. let me know what you do find out. i am interested in knowing because you are not the first to ask this question.
  6. by   Lemur
    Maybe I am thinking about this too literally, but I am pretty sure a "goal" is what you designate as what you hope will happen, and an "outcome" is what actually does happen. "Outcomes" are assessed during the evaluation stage of the nursing process, and "goals" are determined during the planning phase. If an "outcome" shows that the "goal" was met, then "Positive Change" (Gault's Caring Concepts) has occurred.

    Please correct me if I am wrong!

  7. by   blur411
    I talked to my professor yesterday to see what she had to say about goals and outcomes.

    She basically said that a goal is either short term, or long term and it is something like "patient will breath without difficulty". Then the outcomes would be more specific like "patient will be free of pain while breathing by such and such..." So in general a goal is less specific, and the outcomes are more specific aspects of the goals. Thanks for all the input!
  8. by   Daytonite
    Go by what your instructor said. But I think the whole issue is vague. Its not likely for a question about the difference between the two to be on the NCLEX, that's for sure! This is more of a question for a research paper.
  9. by   ggspears
    Short Term E.O.: Client will demonstrate appropriate care of infection-prone site by 3/26/08. Outcome: Client repeated demonstration

    Long Term E.O.: State symptoms of infection of which to be aware 4/26/08 Outcome: This will be an ongoing assessment

    What I was taught is the expected outcome is measureable and begins with client will

    Hope this helps
  10. by   Justlearning
    I thought the goal is what you want the patient to attain, such as pain free by a certain time or will ambulate by discharge, etc.. and the outcome is if that goal was attained and or any part of it that was attained.