nurse2bnicole. . .i don't know where you've gotten the idea that there might be nursing diagnoses that only apply to adults or children! nursing diagnoses are merely clusterings of patient "problems". patient "problems" are the result of what you find to be abnormal symptoms during the data collection process. that applies to all patients from age birth to 99 years of age.
if you have a care plan book or a nursing diagnosis book
, read the very first chapter(s) that talk about the nursing process and how it pertains to the writing of care plans
. sometimes it takes more than one reading because the information is so heavy. however, in a nutshell what goes into the determination and formulation of nursing diagnoses and the three-part nursing diagnostic statement is this:
this comes from the first two steps of the nursing process. step #1 is assessment where you glean information from the patient's written records, interviews and your own physical assessment. all information you can gather counts. in step #2 you take that assessment information and pull out the abnormal
data, or symptoms. this is why it is so important to know what a normal physical exam is, what normal lab values are, etc. so, when you see an abnormal
something-or-other you catch it and pick up on it. you take your list of abnormal symptoms
and go shopping for a nursing diagnosis. each nursing diagnosis has both symptoms (nanda calls them defining characteristics
) and etiologies (nanda calls them related factors
). a book like nursing diagnoses: definitions & classification 2005-2006
published by nanda international has all of this information listed in it and only costs $25 (you can purchase them directly from nanda). you can also get the very same information in other care plan and nursing diagnosis books such as nursing diagnosis handbook: a guide to planning care
, 7th edition, by betty j. ackley and gail b. ladwig which also is greatly expanded to include nursing interventions, outcomes and has a cross reference of signs, symptoms and conditions which makes it a little easier for a newbie at care plans because it points you in the direction of nursing diagnoses to look at when patients have certain medical conditions. it runs about $40 or so.
prior to nursing diagnoses, we wrote care plans by just listing patient's abnormal symptoms
(or problems) and addressing each one individually. what nanda did was group, or they use the term "cluster", some abnormal symptoms and became the authority that said "ok. from now on this is what we're gonna do. these symptoms belong together because they are related to the same etiologies. so we're going to call them nursing diagnoses." the idea is that it sounds more professional. there are also other motives for this being done, but this is not the forum to discuss this.
just like doctors learn to put medical diagnoses with diseases, you are learning to put nursing diagnoses with patient problems and behaviors. each nursing diagnosis has a definition, causes and symptoms for it. there is not much guessing to this. there is some room for give and take and perhaps a little imprecision with them because they often address behavior rather than some things that can be measured empirically and the fact that we are reducing behavior to words that express it as factually as we can. that, however, is one of the great difficulties of working in the behavioral sciences.
to get back to the problem you have with your little patient. . .the problem at hand was urinary retention based on your assessment information
. and, there is a nursing diagnosis for that, age aside. i quoted all the information pertaining to it's related factors and defining characteristics directly from my nanda resource for you.