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How to differentiate nursing dx and medical dx?

I somewhat am getting the hang of knowing a medical dx and nursing dx

Example: nursing dx is "risk of" and maybe "acute/chronic" and a few other things with "r/t" or/and "aeb" and "secondary" to whatever medical dx they have

But sometimes I come across pts that have dx that idk are nursing or medical dx's. For example: toxic metabolic encephalopathy .. Not sure if this is nursing or medical dx?

I looked it up what it is and not sure if I quite get it. But we are creating a care plan and I'm not sure if this should be the nursing dx or medical dx or if it is even either and is more of a symptom?

My pts current medical dx, why he came in, is sepsis secondary to UTI and septic shock.

Can anyone explain how to differentiate the two and explain better what TME is and how it is a nursing or medical dx? I'd really appreciate it! Thanks.

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education.

Nursing diagnoses are approved by NANDA. You can find those that are approved by purchasing the NANDA book.

Example: nursing dx is "risk of" and maybe "acute/chronic" and a few other things with "r/t" or/and "aeb" and "secondary" to whatever medical dx they have

No, that's not it. Again, get yourself a good book that has the NANDA approved list of diagnoses.

A medical diagnosis deals with disease or medical condition. A nursing diagnosis deals with human response to actual or potential health problems and life processes. For example, a medical diagnosis of Cerebrovascular Attack (CVA or Stroke) provides information about the patient's pathology. The complimentary nursing diagnoses of Impaired verbal communication, risk for falls, interrupted family processes and powerlessness provide a more holistic understanding of the impact of that stroke on this particular patient and his family – they also direct nursing interventions to obtain patient-specific outcomes.From What is the difference between a medical diagnosis and a nursing diagnosis.

emtb2rn, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency.

Nursing diagnosis's are used in nursing school and then promptly forgotten. Medical diagnosis's are used in medical school and in practice.

Disclaimer: i work emergency and all we use are medical diagnosis's.

NurseOnAMotorcycle, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Emergency, CEN.

I do like nursing diagnoses in nursing school because it teaches new nurses how to think critically about what they can do to help patients while they're waiting for the doctor to show up and write orders. Without them thinking about it at all, new nurses will get to the floor and have no idea what to do for SOB pt. (for example)

I find this book really helpful when doing my care plans.


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