If you study nursing, it means you have chosen a noble, empathetic, but also a challenging profession. One of the most important assignments for healthcare sector students is generating a thorough nursing care plan or NCP. Knowing how to cope with this task is the first step to the proper patient care, which is the core element of your future specialization. Hence, the following article consists of useful guidelines that will show you examples of nursing care plans and how to write a nursing care plan of an outstanding quality.
What Is a Nursing Care Plan?
While a nursing plan seems to be a tedious task at first, it becomes significant when you carefully study its purposes and the major reasons behind its importance.
Reasons to be able to create nursing care plans encompass:
- By writing such a plan, you will learn to care for your patients individually.
- You will be able to organize a step-by-step patient care, not missing the important details about each patient’s health condition.
- It often happens that the patient has a few diagnoses. Therefore, it is beneficial to make up a list to identify the most difficult health case and start seeking solutions.
- When you create a nursing plan, you are involved in frequent communication with your patient. It is easier to track the progress of the recovery or write down other health status updates.
- Indeed, some patients require more intensive treatment. When the illness is serious, a specialized nurse should be assigned to this diseased individual.
- A nurse should be a well-organized healthcare provider who is endowed with analytical and critical thinking skills. Writing nursing care plans on a regular basis enhances those skills as well as contributes to the better understanding of the required medical interventions.
Categories of Nursing Care Plans to Memorize
You might have already studied that there are different nursing plans, which depend on the progress of the treatment strategy’s implementation. It is interesting that those plans can be divided into formal and informal ones. Technically, an informal nursing care plan is not an official strategy, but it can represent a meticulous recovery scenario a nurse keeps in her head. When you come up with a formal nursing care plan, you create an official document, which can be written or presented in an electronic form; it also consists of the details related to the patient’s treatment methods. What is more, there is an individualized care plan, which reflects a specific health condition of an individual patient as well as unique means of treatment that were elaborated exclusively for this person (it may be related to a rare or less known disease). On the contrary, there is a standardized care plan, which is suitable for patients with common health problems.
Fundamental Goals of a Nursing Care Plan
Each professional nursing care plan has its essential goals:
- Identification of the role of a multi-skilled nurse. Despite the fact that physicians establish a diagnosis, a nurse has multifaceted knowledge that also helps identify the major causes of the patient’s health aggravation and be an active participant in the process of recovery. Thus, a meticulous nursing plan serves as an identification of professionalism.
- Cooperation of nurses. As nurses work in different shifts, one nurse should support another. Thus, every nurse should be able to begin or add details to nursing care plans of each other. It should be a rational cooperation, not a competition, as the main aim is to contribute to the patient’s recovery.
- Observations should be accurate. When generating a NCP, a nurse should be extremely attentive to details. All the observations regarding the patient’s health should be as accurate as possible. Logically, health is not something you should fantasize about.
- Assignment of a certain nursing staff to handle the needs of a person with a special health condition. When the case is unusual or challenging, a NCP helps to prepare a team of nursing specialists to adhere to the patient’s needs.
- Classification of diseases. Well-written nursing care plans contribute to classifying various diseases of different clients. Some plans can be suitable for several patients, while others should be tailored to unique individual scenarios.
NCP Constituents in the Modern Setting
The main constituents of a nursing care plan encompass individual client issues, their elucidation and analysis, reasonable diagnoses, medical forecasts, and the scope of nursing interventions. When generating a nursing plan, you will pay attention to the following details:
- Evaluation of the patient’s health, conclusions of various medical tests, and nursing reports on every individual. It is highly important to evaluate the health problem right from the start to determine the client’s physical form, psychophysiological state, his functional abilities, and even religious beliefs that may influence the treatment process.
- Outlining the possible outcomes after the designated recovery plan.
- Defining interventions that can be carried out by nurses under the supervision of physicians.
- Making a contemporary nursing care evidence-based.
- Assessment of the junior nurses’ progress by senior nurses. In some of the reports, the work of nurses and the effectiveness of their medical conclusions can be estimated and analyzed.
The Creation of Nursing Care Plans for Students
As a learning activity for nursing students, professors may assign them with quite lengthy and comprehensive NCPs to help them imitate all the possible parts of the health care process.
Several years ago, students were required to make handwritten nursing care plans. While now it is not the necessary requirement, some healthcare mentors state that you will understand the usual hospital treatment processes better when using your notebook and a pen.
How to Write a Nursing Care Plan not to Miss the Essential Details?
You can memorize such a sequence of NCP that will be enough for one nursing plan:
- Evaluation of the patient’s case
- Establishment of a diagnosis
- Elucidation of a diagnosis
- The NCP Execution
The NCP implementation will be successful if you memorize the following tips:
- Review of the patient’s data
Ever nurse, despite his or her specialization, will necessarily delve into the client’s medical history. If the patient is not a new one, the next step will lie in the analysis of the lab results. In some cases, the nurse will be responsible for talking with the patient’s family and consulting with other healthcare workers. It is essential to assess all the risk factors and make an appropriate and logical prediction.
- Documentation of health problems
It will be easy for an experienced nurse to make a diagnosis as particular health problems are visible right from the start. The following health conditions, such as insomnia, acute pain, fever, anemia, and various cardiovascular diseases, can be identified without the help of a physician.
- Discussion of the goals with the patient
Preferably, the nurse should discuss the goals and potential outcomes with the patient. Disclosing ways of handling the sickness helps to make the nurse’s contribution more reliable and efficient. There are also particular inquiries a person may ask at the beginning. The nurse should be confident in the responses, apprising the issue scrupulously and proficiently. There is no room for mistake when establishing a diagnosis. It reflects a sensible cooperation between the nurse and the patient based on the choice of the most helpful medication and other ways of effective treatment, which must be as objective as possible.
- Employment of interventions allowed for nurses
This is the important aspect that helps to evaluate the scope of nursing roles. When a nurse is allowed to perform interventions, it means that he or she is endowed with a high responsibility for the patient’s health. That is where the major healthcare achievements begin. The core purpose is patient’s quick recovery and revitalization. A nurse accountable for the specific interventions should enlighten the client on the health issue, give medications on time, and check vital signs and pain levels as frequently as possible.
- Evaluation of the progress and making changes where necessary
It is no less significant to assess the influence of the above-mentioned interventions. In case a disease takes a new turn, a nurse should make changes into the previous treatment scenarios, seeking more advanced or personalized approaches.
Nursing Care Plan Phases that can be Implemented even by Students
- Find access to the patient’s history. Healthcare schools should possess specific archives with medical histories of former patients from different hospitals; do not hesitate to make use of them.
- Unravel healthcare sector priorities. To imitate genuine nursing functions, you should be aware of the burning issues in health care sector.
- Pick a diagnosis that interests you most. Try to choose slightly challenging but not very extraordinary diagnosis. As a student, it will be difficult for you to immerse in an abundance of unknown medical terms.
- Look whether your resources coincide with the ideas in your NCP draft. Such resources as NIC, NANDA, and NOC are commonly used. Do not search for more complicated and less frequently analyzed medical resources.
- Reread and edit your nursing care plan. The analyzed data should be presented as if the documentation is authentic and topical. Even if NCP is your academic assignment, keep it real. The document must look official not to instigate the possible legal problems. Last but not least, remember that precision and conciseness are your “writing friends”.
If you read this article to the end, you have already earned a part of success related to your nursing courses.