Need assistance with priority nursing diagnosis


  • Specializes in Volunteer in ER of busy urban hospital.


Looking for primary nursing diagnosis.

This is my 1st post. I need direction for the following care plan. 59 year old man admitted w/ dehydration and weakness. 5"9" tall and 134 pds. Has large frame. Suffered a mild cerebral vascular accident 6 mths. ago ; at time he was at 162 pds.

Claims food doesn't taste good. No known allergies. No drink or smoke. Retired 1 year ago after working factory job for 40 years. Lives alone since wife of 30 years died 7 months ago.

Hates to eat alone. Usually eats hot cereal or toast a couple times a day. Hard to chew, dentures don't fit due to weight loss.

Makes self get up in am and gets dressed. Stays up frpm 7 am to 10 pm. Generally weak but performs all ADL w/o assistance. Moderate loss of subcutaneous fat and muscle, but not edema are ascites.

I thought grieving, but others say different.

Would appreciate any input.

Many thanks


23 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care / ICU. Has 2 years experience.

No I believe his primary nursing diagnosis should be related to his nutritional status. Its obvious from his weight loss that his nutrition requirements are not being met and on maslow's hierarchy of needs that would be first based on this scenario. Im a second year RN student, a senior in a BSN program, Im not a current RN but I believe you should look up Maslows Hierarchy of Needs in your text and that will guide you to a correct primary nursing diagnosis.

Hope this helps, good luck.


70 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry. Has 2 years experience.

imbalanced nutrition: less than body requirements


1 Article; 42 Posts

Specializes in telemetry.

I would go with deficient fluid volume: r/t (what is the cause of the dehydration?) Is he throwing up? diarrhea? Is because of a disease process? Is he on meds that cause s/e that are of concern. That would be my priority. Also the imbalanced nutrition is good. However, I think the dehydration is priority, then nutrition, then r/f infection because of the declining health status. Just my opinion.