The nursing process is described as being an individualised problem solving approach in which patients receive nursing care. The nursing process consists of four distinct phases, each having a discreet role in the process, theses phases of the process are: assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation. (Oxford Dictionary of Nursing 2003)
It is important that the four stages of the process from assessment to evaluation are carried out sequentially because each phase follows logically from one to the other. As a result the maximum well-being of the patient is always the key issue and the nurse is aware and confident of action to be taken during intervention. This essay will describe the nursing process and the importance each of the phases in turn. It will highlight the significance of each element not only in ensuring the physical and general well-being of the patient but also treating the patient as an individual. Finally the importance of evaluating the complete process will be discussed in order that nursing staff may reflect on the success of their actions.
Assessment is the initial and a very important stage of the nursing process. It involves the gathering of information on the patient’s overall state of health from which a care plan may be created (Oxford Dictionary of Nursing 2003). It is suggested that the ability to assess a patient is to find out their health needs, and to highlight fears and expectations that the patient may have. Questions will focus on the medical, social, psychological, spiritual and cultural needs of the patient, rather than just focusing upon medical and physical needs as each patient is different (Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC 2010)). That may be resolved through additional questioning of family or friends if required, examining medical records and taking into account the doctor’s diagnosis. This is vital to the nursing process to allow a high standard of care to be reached for each patient. Assessment is important...
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