Remember NANDA-I? Remember those days back in nursing school when we had to create nursing care plans and we all thought the same thing, why do we have to do this? When will these care plans ever be used in my nursing career? Well, where has NANDA-I been this whole time?
Every patient that has been admitted to a hospital, and is under the care of a nurse, requires a nursing care plan. They may not necessarily be detailed as the long ones done in nursing school, and most are computer generated based on individual diagnosis and risks and there may be more clicking than writing.
Over all, care plans are invaluable to a nurse's daily routine, so don't dispense them so quickly. Your care plans may not always be used in NANDA-I format, but you're thinking it over routinely. For example; your patient comes in complaining of shortness of breath, you may not think of "ineffective breathing patterns" but you will think of possible causes, and have a layout of how to follow and treat your patient.
Nursing diagnoses and nursing care plans might sound senseless while we are in school, but it will actually aid you in gaining some critical-thinking skills regarding diseases and treatments, addressing symptoms and how to treat and alleviate them, possible complications and how to prevent them. Nurses perform these tasks multiple times every shift, thinking critically what can be done, under our scope of practice to meet the patient's health needs.
We use care plans to help prevent infections, to manage pain, to gap knowledge deficits amongst others. Furthermore, when is JCAHO season, you better make sure you and your patients know your care plans, heads do roll when JCAHO is coming!
So NANDA-I, nursing diagnoses, care plans are here to stay. Some healthcare facilities may havr a easier process, others may have long requirements, but as a nurse you always use it, regardless of your facility's protocol. Those years completing multiple handwritten ones, at least in my case, will not be forgotten. Nursing care plans are instilled in my brain, and I gladly use it.
If that's not enough to convince you of using nursing care plans, money will. If you are not about that money, I'm sure your hospital is, so don't mess with their reimbursement, trust me. In compliance with Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), all hospitalizations that are being paid for or in part by CMS, or any hospitals that accepts Medicare payments must have documented care plans for ALL their patients. So most acute care facilities require proper nursing documentation, care plans included, therefore NANDA-I.
The Dude Nurse
Klaus Campos, BSN-RN