Home Healthcare Articles Nursing diagnosis
A nursing diagnosis is a standardized statement
about the health of a client (individual, family, or community)
for the purpose of providing nursing care. One organization
for defining standard diagnoses is the North American Nursing
Diagnosis Association now known as NANDA-International. Nursing
diagnoses are developed by doing an health assessment.
Nursing diagnoses are part of a movement in
nursing to standardize terminology which includes standard descriptions
of diagnoses, interventions, and outcomes. Those in support
of standardized terminology believe that it will help nursing
become more scientific and evidence based. Many nurses feel,
however, that nursing diagnoses are an ivory tower mentality
and are not relevant to clinical practice.
Structure of diagnoses
There are five types of nursing diagnoses
in the NANDA system.
- An actual diagnosis is a statement about
a health problem that the client has, and could benefit
from nursing care. An example of an actual nursing diagnosis
is: Ineffective airway clearance related to decreased energy
as manifested by an ineffective cough.
A risk diagnosis is a statement about
a health problem that the client doesn't have yet, but is
at a higher than normal risk of developing in the near future.
An example of a risk diagnosis is: Risk for injury related
to altered mobility and disorientation.
A possible diagnosis is a statement about
a health problem that the client might have now, but the
nurse doesn't yet have enough information to make an actual
diagnosis. An example of a possible diagnosis is: Possible
fluid volume deficit related to frequent vomiting for three
days as manifested by increased pulse rate.
A syndrome diagnosis is used when a cluster
of nursing diagnoses are often seen together. An example
of a syndrome diagnosis is: Rape-trauma syndrome related
to anxiety about potential health problems as manifested
by anger, genitourinary discomfort, and sleep pattern disturbance.
A wellness diagnosis is used to describe
an aspect of the client which is at a high level of wellness.
An example of a wellness diagnosis is: Potential for enhanced
organized infant behaviour, related to prematurity and as
manifested by response to visual and auditory stimuli.