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nursing diagnoses


Has 3 years experience.

This question might sound so dumb and I haven't seen anymore ask it. I haven't had any nursing classes yet if that will help forgive asking this!

Ok here goes. I know that there are nursing diagnoses and interventions. An example I just looked up now is "Decreased Cardiac Output" and one of the nursing interventions says "maintain fluid balance." My question is why do they have nursing diagnoses why don't you just go off of the medical diagnosis? Instead of "decreased cardiac output" it's "MI" for example then nursing interventions for MI one would be maintain fluid balance. Because aren't nurses looking at the medical diagnosis anyway and choosing the interventions that are holistic based on that, based on how the patient is coping with it?


Specializes in Critical care.

Okay, so I'm a student myself, no one ever really explained too well to me either, and I'm sure the mods will pitch in, buuuuuut with those disclaimers, here is my take/what I've understood. A medical diagnosis tells us what diseases/conditions the patient has... A nursing diagnosis helps us understand what's happening or could happen to the patient and what to do to prevent it/make it better. We also use them to set goals for optimal patient health and specific benchmarks to determine when we've met those goals.

So, for the patient with HF and nursing diagnosis of decreased cardiac output, you would state "decreased cardiac output RT HF" and then set goals like "return to optimal CO." Then look to see how you would measure that... Ie, cap refill time

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

No. You can never use a medical dx for a nursing dx. The nursing model of care and medical model of care are different. The doctor diagnoses the disease and treats the disease. The nurse treats the patient and how they respond to the disease. You will learn all of this in nursing school. You will do plenty of long drawn out care plans.

It's not going to make sense until you start school and start working with them.