Care Plans Help Please! (with the R\T and AEB)


Hello! I'm struggling with one of my classes, when the teacher gives examples it makes sense but when we're left on our own, it's extremely difficult to know where to start.

Specifically, trying to understand the nursing DX r\t (what it's related to), aeb (then the signs and symptoms).

Does anyone have any pointers to make this easier?

126 Answers


Kenneth Oja, PhD, RN

1 Article; 23 Posts

Specializes in teaching, research, and evidence-based practice. Has 19 years experience.

This is what I used to tell my students and it always seemed to help:

The "related to" is typically the pathophysiology of the medical diagnosis. So, for example, a patient with chronic kidney disease, the medical diagnosis, might have a nursing diagnosis of "Fluid Volume Overload." This is because they have a decreased glomerular filtration rate (among other things, but I'm keeping it simple for example). So, the statement would be "Fluid Volume Overload r/t decreased glomerular filtration rate."

Your "as evidenced by" would be the manifestations (or symptoms) of having a decreased glomerular filtration rate. For example, "2+ pitting edema in bilateral lower extremities."

So, putting it all together, your statement would be:

"Fluid Volume overload r/t decreased glomerular filtration rate AEB 2+ pitting edema in bilateral lower extremities."

Nursing diagnosis statements are a way to identify problems and intervene within the nursing scope of practice without making a medical diagnosis. Nurses understand the pathophysiology of medical conditions, but it is not in our scope to diagnose. We can, however, recognize signs and symptoms of medical conditions and provide nursing interventions based on our assessment. In this case, nursing interventions to treat the edema might be:

  • Elevating the lower extremities
  • Monitoring intake and output
  • Assessing the edema (increasing or decreasing?)
  • Administering Lasix per orders

So, when you catch yourself stating something like "related to congestive heart failure," which is a medical diagnosis, convert it to the pathophysiology of that particular medical diagnosis like "related to impaired pumping ability of the heart" or something along those lines.

Hope this helps!

stressgal, RN

589 Posts

Specializes in CCRN.

AEB is short for "as evidenced by" (or "as exhibited by") and RT is short for "related to". Then to give you some insight into nursing diagnosis/care plans, here is an example:

Knowledge, deficient regarding condition, treatment, and self-care R/T lack of information AEB patient's comments about reason for hospitalization.

Nursing DX ( from the NANDA approved list): Knowledge deficient

RT (why is the client deficient): lack of information

AEB (how do I know the client meets the diagnosis) : patient's comments

Here's another one:

Skin/Tissue Integrity, impaired R/T surgical procedure AEB presence of incision

Nursing DX: Skin/tissue integrity impaired

RT(why is the skin/tissue integrity impaired): surgical procedure

AEB (how do I know the skin/tissue is impaired): presence of incision

I would recommend a good care plan book. There are many available. You do not need to "create" these out of thin air.

Hope that helps.

psalm, RN

1 Article; 1,263 Posts

Specializes in Staff nurse.

...Do they have to be NANDA? Did you have a book you needed to purchase for care plans? Your med-surg book should have some cases that include care plans so check those that would correspond with the medical & nursing diagnoses. What is the pt in the hosp for? The dr's diagnosis of pneumonia would point you to airway and breathing problems...

Ie: impaired gas exchange r/t aeb

You fill in the blanks with what is going on with this individual pt.


1,329 Posts

The orange dx book put out by Ackley is great because in the front it lists medical dx's with their corresponding nursing dx's/

Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 17,846 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 46 years experience.

ELK, thanks for the link. What a FANTASTIC resource.

chuckc, BSN, RN

107 Posts

Don't know if this will help, but I read my care plans back to myself backward to check it, from nursing interventions back to nurse dx, and each should relate to one another and make sense. Works for me. On the r/t I usually use s/sx and secondary to med dx. I use AEB on my desired pt outcome, it says how I will know it was effective RE: Pt skin integrity will remain intact AEB no skin breakdown during shift. Not a great example, but you get the picture. Hope this helps

I don't know if this helps but we use the PES format

Problem, Etiology, Sx

Example Problem, related to (cause), manifested by (signs and symptoms). I agree with reading it back to yourself backwards. It helps

Specializes in Cardiac.

We use AMB-as manifested by..

I love that link. I never had problems with making care plans, but that website practically does it for you!!! Awesome!

Imafloat, BSN, RN

1 Article; 1,289 Posts

Has 13 years experience.

We use PES format also. Problem R/T Etiology AEB Symptoms. This is a nursing diagnosis, not a medical one, so don't use medical terms such as pneumonia, bronchitis, appendicitis etc... We were also told that it is preferred to have more than one R/T and AEB.

Love4Me, RN

134 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

We use the Ackley book. It helps with activities and rationales but not all that great with the related to.

Our instructor explained it to us that the related to is like the cause of the diagnosis. But the related to has to be in the present nothing in the past. It can't be a medical diagnosis and it has to be something that the nurse can do something about. For example, Disturbed sleep pattern r/t pain. Pain is in the present, not a medical diagnosis and something that nurses can do something about.

The AEBs are your signs and symptoms of your NANDA. A bunch of students in my class would get mixed up with the AEBs. The would give s/s of the r/t and not the NANDA. For example, Disturbed sleep pattern r/t pain AEB client states "I only sleep 3 hours per night".

tx2007, RN

277 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, ortho/neuro, ambulatory surg.

The AEBs are your signs and symptoms of your NANDA. A bunch of students in my class would get mixed up with the AEBs. The would give s/s of the r/t and not the NANDA. For example, Disturbed sleep pattern r/t pain AEB client states "I only sleep 3 hours per night".

We used aeb- as evidenced by............. (whatever!)

Here is an awesome book, it has been my bible for nursing school and I will never give it up! It is The Lippincott Manual of Nursing Practice, 7th ed. It is worth every penny (not as $ as some of the books I have bought through school. I found it when I was desperate for help my first year/semester and needed a care plan & concept map for a patient w/ kidney transplant rejection. When I saw this book--I kissed it!!!!!!