On the contrary, you can certainly use a medical diagnosis as a defining characteristic. When you go to the NANDA-I website it will tell you that you can't use a medical diagnosis as a prompt for the nursing diagnosis-- they specifically say that students often ask "What's the nursing diagnosis for myocardial infarction? (for example)" and there is no answer to that question. However, when you look at the NANDA-I 2012-2014, which is THE definitive book on nursing diagnosis and which all students should have (you can get free 2-day delivery from Amazon), you will find many, many of the nursing dx have medical dx as defining characteristics.
It's said "Nursing diagnosis A related to X, as evidenced by Y." This nursing diagnosis statement means, "I think my patient has/or might get A, because of X, and I think that X is correct because I have observed/learned in her chart/measured these specific data points Y."
That said, saying, "My patient is at risk for infection because she has an infection" makes no sense at all.
NANDA-I 2012-2014 list: http://allnurses.com/nursing-student...es-655625.html
There is no magic list of medical diagnoses from which you can derive nursing diagnoses. There is no one from column A, one from column B list out there. Nursing diagnosis does NOT result from medical diagnosis, period. This is one of the most difficult concepts for some nursing students to incorporate into their understanding of what nursing is, which is why I strive to think of multiple ways to say it.
Yes, experienced nurses will use a patient's medical diagnosis to give them ideas about what to expect and assess for, but that's part of the nursing assessment, not a consequence of a medical assessment.
For example, if I admit a 55-year-old with diabetes and heart disease, I recall what I know about DM pathophysiology. I'm pretty sure I will probably see a constellation of nursing diagnoses related to these effects, and I will certainly assess for them-- ineffective tissue perfusion, activity intolerance, knowledge deficit, fear, altered role processes, and ineffective health management for starters. I might find readiness to improve health status, or ineffective coping, or risk for falls, too. These are all things you often see in diabetics who come in with complications. They are all things that NURSING treats independently of medicine, regardless of whether a medical plan of care includes measures to ameliorate the physiological cause of some of them. But I can't put them in any individual's plan for nursing care until *I* assess for the symptoms that indicate them, the defining characteristics of each.
Medical diagnoses are derived from medical assessments-- diagnostic imaging, laboratory studies, pathology analyses, and the like. This is not to say that nursing diagnosis doesn't use the same information; we do. There's no rule that says it's an either/or choice, med school or nursing school, to limit your use of data.
Nursing diagnoses are derived from nursing assessments, not medical ones. So to make a nursing diagnosis, a nursing assessment has to occur. For THAT, well, you need to either examine the patient yourself, or (if you're planning care ahead of time before you've seen the patient) find out about the usual presentation and usual nursing care for a given patient.
That's why we can't give you an answer-- there isn't one. Also, we don't give you an answer because we don't do your homework for you to copy off the list and hand in. SO.... What do YOU think, based on your assessment of this patient, and why do you think so?
Last edit by GrnTea on Sep 24, '12