Care plan help please!

Published

M working on a care plan for my patients who presents with confusion, weakness stomach pain. She has cirrhosis. Sodium is critical at 107. She is on 3% saline. She is a non compliant alcoholic that is underweight. Also her pt and INR are elevated and she is not on anticougulants. They have put her on vit k. And has thrombocytopenia. I have my fell diagnosis statements done but I'm struggling with prioritizing. I have a risk for bleeding and I know they aren't usually a priority but I'm not sure in this case:

Acute confusion

Risk for bleeding

Impaired nutrition less than body requirements

Noncompliance

Thanks in advance!

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 43 years experience.
M working on a care plan for my patients who presents with confusion, weakness stomach pain. She has cirrhosis. Sodium is critical at 107. She is on 3% saline. She is a non compliant alcoholic that is underweight. Also her pt and INR are elevated and she is not on anticougulants. They have put her on vit k. And has thrombocytopenia. I have my fell diagnosis statements done but I'm struggling with prioritizing. I have a risk for bleeding and I know they aren't usually a priority but I'm not sure in this case:

Acute confusion

Risk for bleeding

Impaired nutrition less than body requirements

Noncompliance

Thanks in advance!

It is impossible for me to help...you mention acute confusion. Is she confused? You did not have that in your assessment provides. You mention stomach pain? Have you addressed that? You mention that her PT/INR is elevated...how elevated will determine the risk. If she is confused what about the patients safety? What about this patients sodium concerns you?

Care plans and prioritizing them is all about the patient assessment.

There really isn't enough information to help you prioritize.

Has 6 years experience.

You may be missing at least one huge thing. Look at your labs, again :)

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

Risk for bleeding is definitely huge in this person. I'd put it right up there at the top. Now, why would I say that? What do you know about cirrhotic livers, livers and clotting factors, and why cirrhotics have GI bleeds? And why is she on Vit K and what about the thrombocytoPENIA? Of those four you have, which has the potential to kill your patient the fastest?

Look those up and that should give you some ideas. And keep those towels and chux handy.

Where is your nursing assessment of his condition? This is all medical diagnoses.

See, you are falling into the classic nursing student trap of trying desperately to find a nursing diagnosis for a medical diagnosis without really looking at your assignment as a nursing assignment. You are not being asked to find an auxiliary medical diagnosis-- nursing diagnoses are not dependent on medical ones. You are not being asked to supplement the medical plan of care-- you are being asked to develop your skills to determine a nursing plan of care. This is complementary but not dependent on the medical diagnosis or plan of care.

This is one of the hardest things for students to learn-- how to think like a nurse, and not like a physician appendage. Some people never do move beyond including things like "assess/monitor give meds and IVs as ordered," and they completely miss the point of nursing its own self. I know it's hard to wrap your head around when so much of what we have to know overlaps the medical diagnostic process and the medical treatment plan, and that's why nursing is so critically important to patients.

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, nursing is legally obligated to implement some aspects of the medical plan of care. (Other disciplines may implement other parts, like radiology, or therapy, or ...) That is not to say that everything nursing assesses, is, and does is part of the medical plan of care. It is not. That's where nursing dx comes in.

A nursing diagnosis statement translated into regular English goes something like this: "I think my patient has ____(nursing diagnosis)_____ . I know this because I see/assessed/found in the chart (as evidenced by) __(defining characteristics) ________________. He has this because he has ___(related factor(s))__."

"Related to" means "caused by," not something else. In many nursing diagnoses it is perfectly acceptable to use a medical diagnosis as a causative factor. For example, "acute pain" includes as related factors "Injury agents: e.g. (which means, "for example") biological, chemical, physical, psychological." "Surgery" counts for a physical injury-- after all, it's only expensive trauma. :)

To make a nursing diagnosis, you must be able to demonstrate at least one "defining characteristic" and related (causative) factor. (Exceptions: "Risk for..." diagnoses do not have defining characteristics, they have risk factors.)Defining characteristics and related factors for all approved nursing diagnoses are found in the NANDA-I 2012-2014 (current edition). $29 paperback, $23 for your Kindle at Amazon, free 2-day delivery for students. NEVER make an error about this again---and, as a bonus, be able to defend appropriate use of medical diagnoses as related factors to your faculty. Won't they be surprised!

I know that many people (and even some faculty, who should know better) think that a "care plan handbook" will take the place of this book. However, all nursing diagnoses, to be valid, must come from NANDA-I. The care plan books use them, but because NANDA-I understandably doesn't want to give blanket reprint permission to everybody who writes a care plan handbook, the info in the handbooks is incomplete. We see the results here all the time from students who are not clear on what criteria make for a valid defining characteristic and what make for a valid cause.Yes, we have to know a lot about medical diagnoses and physiology, you betcha we do. But we also need to know about NURSING, which is not subservient or of lesser importance, and is what you are in school for.

If you do not have the NANDA-I 2012-2014, you are cheating yourself out of the best reference for this you could have. I don’t care if your faculty forgot to put it on the reading list. Get it now. When you get it out of the box, first put little sticky tabs on the sections:

1, health promotion (teaching, immunization....)

2, nutrition (ingestion, metabolism, hydration....)

3, elimination and exchange (this is where you'll find bowel, bladder, renal, pulmonary...)

4, activity and rest (sleep, activity/exercise, cardiovascular and pulmonary tolerance, self-care and neglect...)

5, perception and cognition (attention, orientation, cognition, communication...)

6, self-perception (hopelessness, loneliness, self-esteem, body image...)

7, role (family relationships, parenting, social interaction...)

8, sexuality (dysfunction, ineffective pattern, reproduction, childbearing process, maternal-fetal dyad...)

9, coping and stress (post-trauma responses, coping responses, anxiety, denial, grief, powerlessness, sorrow...)

10, life principles (hope, spiritual, decisional conflict, nonadherence...)

11, safety (this is where you'll find your wound stuff, shock, infection, tissue integrity, dry eye, positioning injury, SIDS, trauma, violence, self mutilization...)

12, comfort (physical, environmental, social...)

13, growth and development (disproportionate, delayed...)

Now, if you are ever again tempted to make a diagnosis first and cram facts into it second, at least go to the section where you think your diagnosis may lie and look at the table of contents at the beginning of it. Something look tempting? Look it up and see if the defining characteristics match your assessment findings. If so... there's a match. If not... keep looking. Eventually you will find it easier to do it the other way round, but this is as good a way as any to start getting familiar with THE reference for the professional nurse.

I hope this gives you a better idea of how to formulate a nursing diagnosis using the only real reference that works for this.

Now, we're going to look at where to go for outcomes and interventions. I think you can probably imagine what you might want to see for an outcome. It would probably have something to do with no increase in pain due to decreased circulation, or perhaps no increase in tissue injury, you might also consider some of the educational components, so one of your outcomes might be that the patient describes…, so you understand that he knows more about his disease.

I'm going to recommend two more books to you that will save your bacon all the way through nursing school, starting now. The first is NANDA, NOC, and NIC Linkages: Nursing Diagnoses, Outcomes, and Interventions. This is a wonderful synopsis of major nursing interventions, suggested interventions, and optional interventions related to nursing diagnoses. For example, on page 475, you will find "tissue perfusion, peripheral, ineffective." This is followed by the lay definition of what circulation status is, major interventions for arterial insufficiency and venous insufficiency, and a long list of suggested and optional interventions from which to choose. It is important to realize that you can just copy all of them down; you have to pick the ones that apply to your individual patient. Also available at Amazon.

The 2nd book is Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) is in its 6th edition, 2013, edited by Bulechek, Butcher, Dochterman, and Wagner. Mine came from Amazon.

It gives a really good explanation of why the interventions are based on evidence, and every intervention is clearly defined and includes references if you would like to know (or if you need to give) the basis for the nursing (as opposed to medical) interventions you may prescribe. Another beauty of a reference. Don't think you have to think it all up yourself-- stand on the shoulders of giants.