Nursing Process

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The nursing process: A help or a hindrance to contemporary nursing practice.


The nursing process is the core for the nursing care plan and enables one to think like a nurse. It was based on the theory developed by Ida Jean Orlanda in 1950’s where she observed good and bad nursing practices (Faust, 2002). The nursing process is important as it is a systematic problem solving approach which involves the partnership with both the patient and their family. It serves as an important tool to improve practice, quality care and promote good health (Potter and Anne, 1992). In this essay, the four stages of the nursing process will be described and if this is a help or a hindrance to the contemporary nursing process will be discussed.

Main Section

The model of nursing developed by Roger, logan and Tierney in 1976 and then updated in 1983 is the one which the nurses are most familiar with. The model of nursing recognises 12 activities of daily living which is most related to basic human requirements. The model o f nursing can be used as a guide when an assessment of need is being carried out between the nurse and the patient where each of the activity is discussed and previous routine is identified (Aggleton and Chalmers, 2000).

The nursing process is an organised, dynamic and cyclical process and has four interrelated steps. The nurses use the four steps with every patient they interact with. The starting point of the nursing process is the assessment stage (Seaback,2001) .For the assessment to take place successfully, it is very important that the nurse is able to communicate effectively with the patient, and the patient’s family (Yura and Walsh, 1988). The planning stage of the nursing is therefore directly linked to quality and comprehensiveness of the assessment stage. During this stage, the patient’s needs are identified and how their needs/desires in relation to their health can be achieved. The plan is then implemented and this part of the nursing process details fully the care given and received by the patient. The final stage of the nursing process then evaluates the effect of the implementation. Evaluation is carried out at least twice in 24 hours and ever incident is noted. A general statement of the patient’s condition is written and with every care plan the nurses evaluate the patient’s progress towards the attainment of outcomes (Yura and Walsh, 1988).

Studies have been conducted to show the attitudes of nurses towards the nursing process. From the result from one particular study conducted by Martin 1994, it was found that patients who took part in the study showed positive outlook towards the nursing process and the diagnosis. Nurses, with higher degrees showed more positive attitude towards the nursing process. One of the hindrance that was found in the contemporary nursing practice was insufficient study and it was found that only around 30% of the patients were satisfied with the way care planning was done (Martin, 1994). From the result, it can be concluded that by improving the care planning would overall improve the nursing process. Another study conducted, in 2005 explored factors that affected standardized care plans. It was found that one of the challenges to the contemporary nursing practices is to identity patient problems and the use of appropriate care plans. The result from the study conducted showed that, nurses used the same evaluation plans to meet the hospital requirements and were found to match patient’s condition to the designated nursing diagnosis (J Clin Nurse, 2005). Thus, in order to improve the quality of care plan the nurses should be educated and enhance their ability to use nursing diagnosis. Chart audit are used by health care to show the quality of care, thus the results gained from this study should be applied to the in service training programmes by institutions that are replacing the traditional manually written care plans with standardized...
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