Nurses are at the forefront of the care delivery system. Moreover, unlike other healthcare fields, the role of a nurse is much more challenging and demanding as well. From providing hands-on care to educating patients, spreading public awareness, and monitoring medical equipment, nurses do it all with dedication and sincerity. In the U.S., there are more than 4 million registered nurses adhering to growing care demands.
With their top-notch judgemental and critical thinking skills, nurses ensure that patients receive the best possible healthcare services. To better understand how the nursing process work, let us have a look into the five stages of nursing:
Stage 1: Data Collection through Assessment
The nursing process begins with the assessment process. Before delivering care to the patient, it is essential for a nurse to assess the situation using their critical thinking capabilities. This helps in fetching valuable information and data about the patient and their health condition.
All the registered nurses (RNs) begin with a detailed assessment of the patient, taking note of every necessary health data that can help further in the diagnosis and treatment. The assessment process that nurses perform in hospitals in the USA or any other region involves physical examination of the patient including measuring blood pressure, height, weight, temperature, and other vital signs. These data either comes from the patient or may come from family and friends and in most of the cases from primary caregivers. Even electronic health records (EHR) data may also assist in understanding the patient’s health history and present health records.
Stage 2: Nursing Diagnosis
After collecting data during the assessment, the nurses use the same to develop a nursing diagnosis statement that indicates the potential health problems that the patient may be subject to. With the complete patient diagnosis, the nurse establishes the ground for the physician to implement patient care and treatment plan. So, it is the nurse who performs the primary diagnosis, and the doctor later uses this assessment to conclude the actual disease or disorder.
Nurses working in nursing homes in the US follow a three-part nursing diagnosis process that includes analysis of assessment data, identification of the patient problem, and nursing diagnosis. It helps in ensuring adequate care as the nurses make an in-depth assessment and prepare diagnostic chart so that any potential syndrome that the patient may have doesn’t go unnoticed.
Stage 3: Planning Nursing Care
Here comes the third stage that involves setting up of goals and developing strategies to reach those care objectives as may be required for the efficient and faster recovery of the patient. It is the stage of planning during which nurses formulate what needs to be done to offer appropriate patient care for best results. A nursing care plan sets the course of action that is further personalized as per individual patient needs. Through proper planning, the execution of care treatment becomes seamless and effective.
Stage 4: Execution of Care Plan
At the fourth stage, after all the assessment, diagnosis, and care planning, finally comes the time for implementation. In this phase, nurses act towards delivering care as planned. According to what the patient needs, nursing intervention begins in the form of application of oxygen mask, turning on cardiac monitor, taking blood samples, providing medicine, and implementing other treatment protocols.
Stage 5: Reassessment
The last and the final step in the process of nursing care is evaluating the patient outcome. Whenever any healthcare professional implements care, it is essential to reassess whether the desired result from the treatment is achieved or not. If the patient condition improves then based on the reassessment, it can be concluded that the particular care plan worked and if it doesn’t bring a positive outcome, then it means that care plan needs to be changed.
Nursing is an elaborative process where qualified and skilled nurses deliver their best to impart quality and timely care to patients. The field of nursing is widespread across various specialties and departments. However, these nurses irrespective of the many challenges never fail to perform their duty and so are surely the pillars of the healthcare system at large.