Nursing Diagnoses questions

  1. I am just starting to use nursing diagnoses in school and we really haven't gone over them. Can someone please explain the difference between a growth and development nursing diagnoses versus a health promotion diagnoses? For children this would be easier for me but I am working with adults and it seems everything I come up with falls under health promotion. Also when writing up care plans how do you word a diagnoses so it doesn't sound like what one of the books stated since they all state the risks/defining characteristics in pretty much the same way.

    I really appreciate allnurses.com although I am not on here as much as I used to be due to school.
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  2. 1 Comments

  3. by   Daytonite
    before you use any nursing diagnosis you should read it's definition, and note the related factors and defining characteristics that go with it. that tells you what the diagnosis is about. if your patient doesn't have any of the criteria (defining characteristics) of a particular nursing diagnosis, then you can't use it. a doctor can't say you have a common cold if your symptoms are a sore thumb and blue fingernails. that just doesn't make any sense. the same goes for a nursing diagnosis. if the patient doesn't have any of the defining characteristics (symptoms) that are listed under a particular nursing diagnosis, then you can't logically use it.

    to get an idea of the difference between the growth and development and the health promotion diagnoses, look at each one's definition, related factors and defining characteristics. you'll see the differences between them.

    nanda has taken a lot of painstaking time to word the nursing diagnoses and related factors in a way that they feel is acceptable. a nursing diagnosis should be written exactly as nanda has stated it unless your instructors are telling you something different. then, you follow what your instructors tell you to do. but, i don't know why your instructors wouldn't want you to use that same wording. as for the wording of the related factors, if your instructors don't want you using the nanda suggestions, use a thesaurus to help you reword them. related factors, however, are labels for groupings of defining characteristics or the pathophysiology underlying groups of the defining characteristics in a nursing diagnosis. as for the defining characteristics, they are the actual abnormal assessment items you find during your physical examination and review of the patient's medical record. the nanda listings are more of a guideline since actual patient symptoms will vary widely from patient to patient. specific lab results, vital signs and other actual physical assessment findings are what you will use as defining characteristics.

    the process of choosing a nursing diagnosis involves doing a complete assessment of the patient first. this involves a physical exam and a review of the patient's medical record. you want to make a list of everything you find that is abnormal. all that abnormal stuff is what forms the basis of the patient's problems that you are going to treat. that list is actually going to be all your defining characteristics that you will need to match with nursing diagnoses. they can also be called symptoms. when you are new to nursing diagnosis, you need a nursing diagnosis reference of some sort to help you out. you will need to look at potential nursing diagnoses to see if your patient has any of the defining characteristics listed under any of the potential nursing diagnoses you are considering. you don't pick a nursing diagnosis first and then try to look for symptoms in your patient to fit the diagnoses. that is backing into the diagnosis and the wrong way of using the nursing process.

    for more information see

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