The Nursing Process
The Nursing Process Steps and their Definitions
The nursing process is a comprehensive, holistic five-step process that helps registered nurses to become united by a common thread in their patient care practices (ANA, 2014). The tool was developed to maintain consistency and efficacy in the nursing sector of healthcare. The process is the nurse’s core tool for providing patient-focused attention. The first of the tool’s five-pronged nature is assessment. Nurses are required to carry out an in-depth analysis of the patient’s symptoms, not only those manifested biologically, but those tied to sociocultural, economic, and spiritual factors as well. For example, a nurse investigating a patient suffering from acute migraine need not only focus on the headache itself, but also on the patient’s response to the condition. Diagnosis is the second step that involves the nurse giving their professional opinion on the nature and cause of the patient’s condition. The diagnosis is a clinical judgment that identifies the patient’s condition, the nature of their suffering, causative agents, and any potential special needs. A patient suffering from migraines can be diagnosed with high stress levels. Outcomes/planning provide the nurse with a provision for laying out the expected outcomes from treating the patient and how to achieve those outcomes. Planning is the result of the findings from the assessment and diagnosis stage. Based on these findings, the nurse sets measurable goals, short and long-term, medicinal and therapeutic aimed at alleviating the patient’s condition. Such actions might include drinking plenty of water and minimizing exposure to stress raisers for the migraine patient. The implementation phase is the fourth one, where nurses carry out the remedial actions proposed or outlined in the planning phase. Medication is given to the patient for the stipulated timeline, in the prescribed dosages. For the migraine patient, treatment might include administering painkillers and engaging them in relaxing exercises to relieve stress. Finally, the last step is the evaluation phase. This phase closely interleaves with the implementation phase. The nurse takes data on the patient recovery status and compares it to the benchmarked outcomes. The rate of recovery is determined and corrective action on the treatment plan done to bring patient recovery on track (ANA, 2014). Increasing the dosage or varying the strength of the pain relieving agent might be alternatives implemented on the treatment plan to expedite the patient’s recovery. Direct and Indirect care as described by the Nursing Intervention Classification (NIC) project Direct care is care administered through interaction with the patient, such as giving them medication, talking to them or changing their bedspread. Indirect care involves things done to aid the patient’s recovery but are not directly performed on the patient. These include checking the patient’s emergency chart or talking to their family to solicit increased support for the patient. In both these instances of indirect care, the nurse is proactively trying to improve the patient’s health status without directly interacting with him/her. The three (3) types of Nursing Interventions
Interventions carried out by nurses on patients are categorized into three; those that are entirely proposed by the nurse (nurse-initiated), those proposed by a clinical officer or doctor (dependent) and finally those arrived at as a result of discussion between the nurses and the doctors (interdependent). Nurse initiated interventions, for the case of a patient suffering from migraines and refusing to take medication, might involve taking measures to educate the patient on the dangers of refusing medication. A dependent intervention will require an order or directive from another health worker, such as a physician (Doenges & Moorhouse, 2013). For...
References: Doenges, M. E., & Moorhouse, M. F. (2012). Application of nursing process and nursing diagnosis: An interactive text for diagnostic reasoning. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis.
ANA. (2014). The Nursing Process. Retrieved from http://www.nursingworld.org/EspeciallyForYou/What-is-Nursing/Tools-You-Need/Thenursingprocess.html
Basford, L., & Slevin, O. (2012). Theory and practice of nursing: An integrated approach to patient care. Edinburgh: Campion Press.
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