Discussion board about The Nursing Process.Provide references in APA format and include in text citations for quoted or paraphrased content in the post.
It's important to point out that the nursing process is flexible and not rigid. It is a tool to use in nursing care, but one that should allow for creativity and thinking outside of the box.
1-Identify and described the steps of the nursing process.
2-Discuss the importance of the nursing process as it relates to patients care.
3-Explain at least two ways in which nurses use critical thinking.
Please use attach document for in-text citation and references.
Understanding the nursing process Stonehouse, DP
Title Understanding the nursing process
Authors Stonehouse, DP
URL This version is available at: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/46573/
Published Date 2017
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Nursing Process or Process of Care: Understanding the Nursing Process.
David Stonehouse is a Lecturer with the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queens
Support workers work closely with their patients and members of the multidisciplinary
team to deliver high quality care. Often this care will have been planned by a nurse
using the nursing process. It is therefore important for the support worker to
understand how the patient has been assessed and the care they are providing has
been planned. Within this article the author will be discussing the nursing process,
explaining the different stages and how these are utilised to deliver quality care.
Relevant sections of The Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers and
Adult Social Care Workers in England (Skills for Care and Skills for Health, 2013) will
be highlighted. Support worker have a clear and important role in making sure the
nursing process is successful and patients receive the best quality care.
Key Words: Assessment, Evaluation, Implementation, Nursing Diagnosis, Nursing
Process, Planning, Support Workers.
Historically the medical model was used, whereby a diagnosis was made by a doctor
and care was prescribed based on physical symptoms alone (Hamilton and Price,
2013). This ignored the holistic needs of the patient. To develop more of a problem
solving focus to nursing care (Melin-Johansson et al, 2017) the nursing process was
proposed by Yura and Walsh in 1967. It is seen as a “decision making approach that
promotes critical thinking” (Yildirim and Ozkahraman, 2011:261). It comprises a
cyclical process of four stages which are known as assessment, planning,
implementation and evaluation. A fifth stage has subsequently been added coming
immediately after assessment, namely nursing diagnosis (American Nurses
Even though the initial assessment and planning will often be performed by a nurse,
the support worker will be involved in all aspects. They will often be the person who
then implements the planned care and evaluates its appropriateness and success as
care is delivered. Ongoing assessment takes place and the support worker will be
closely involved in this. A more accurate name for the nursing process today could
be the Caring Process which would incorporate all members of the multidisciplinary
team involved in the care of the patient.
Within The Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care
Workers in England (Skills for Care and Skills for Health, 2013), section 3.2 states
that you must “recognise and respect the roles and expertise of your colleagues both
in the team and from other agencies and disciplines, and work in partnership with
them.” By having an awareness and understanding of the nursing process allows
you to recognise and respect the role that the nurse is playing in planning care for
your patients. It also allows you to recognise the valuable contribution you make to
the nursing process. Section 6.6 states you must “actively encourage the delivery of
high quality healthcare, care and support.” Through the nursing process the patient’s
needs can be assessed, care planned and delivered and then evaluated, thereby
ensuring quality care is delivered. Section 4.2 states you must “communicate
effectively and consult with your colleagues as appropriate.” Through having
awareness of the nursing process enables you to discuss with your nursing
colleagues which care has been planned and why and what outcomes are trying to
This is the first stage of the nursing process. It involves the collection of information
from the patient and their family/carers concerning their condition and perceived
problems. Hamilton and Price (2013) state that this is the cornerstone in establishing
the needs of the patient and if done well, the nursing process will be a success.
Information can be collected in a number of ways and the support worker will take an
active part in this. Good communication, both verbal and non-verbal, together with
observational skills are key.
Information gathered can be either subjective or objective, and primary or secondary
(Kozier et al, 2008). Subjective is information that the patient tells you, how they are
feeling, levels and sensation of pain. This is open to interpretation, however you
must always accept what the patient is telling you. Objective information is that which
can be measured such as blood pressure or weight. Primary information is that
which is gained from the patient themselves whereas secondary data is information
from other sources, such as family members.
Even before the nurse or support worker has seen the patient there will often be
existing notes to read or a handover to receive. This initial information will help to
guide the first stages and should give the nurse a starting point on how to approach
the patient. Identifying any communication needs and recognising if any special
adjustments need to be made. Of course in certain situations this is not always
possible, where a patient is admitted urgently to the accident and emergency
department and care must commence immediately, an initial short term assessment
will be made (Hamilton and Price, 2013).
The next part of the assessment takes place even before any words are spoken. As
you approach the patient you will be observing them and looking for any outward
signs, both positive and negative. This can be done very quickly on first seeing the
patient. Do they look in pain, do they appear to be pale or clammy? Are they
conscious and sitting up, or appear unconscious?
An assessment of the patient’s airway, breathing and circulation needs to be
performed immediately. Once these three areas have been assessed as being
stable, then the more formal assessment can take place. Observations are taken to
gain a baseline and again to identify anything abnormal which may need urgent
intervention. Pulse, respirations, blood pressure, oxygen saturations, capillary refill
time and anything else which is relevant to the patients presenting problems. These
are all recorded to be repeated and compared.
General information is gathered together with a thorough health history (Kozier et al,
2008). This includes exactly how the patient is presenting at this moment in time.
What symptoms are they describing to you? Other important questions are asked
such as is the patient allergic to anything. Models of nursing care will be used as a
tool to guide this process. These will already be established within the working
environment and form a basis for the documentation used.
The focus of the assessment is the patient and how they are experiencing their
illness and ill health. Once all the information has been collected it can be
documented and sorted (Melin-Johansson et al, 2017). Excellent record keeping is
key, so that all the information gathered is recorded and presented in a way that is
accessible to the whole multidisciplinary team.
This is an extra stage to the original four and is more wide spread and common in
North America. Here the information gained from the assessment is used to identify
actual and potential problems, as well as strengths (Yildirim and Ozkahraman,
2011). Strengths might be self-caring abilities or independence in certain areas. Or
prior knowledge or experience of the illness. Actual problems are those that come
directly out of the assessment, for example pain from a fracture. Potential problems
are those that could arise from out of the problem, for example the risk of developing
a pressure sore if confined to bed (Hogston, 2011). However Peate (2013) has a
word of warning that the person making the diagnosis must have gained the
sufficient expertise and experience to do so, otherwise this could be potentially
The planning stage is where interventions are identified to reduce, resolve or prevent
the patient’s problems while supporting the patient’s strengths in an organised goal
directed way (Kozier et al, 2008). Care needs to be prioritised on the needs of the
patient and the seriousness of the problems identified. Hogston (2011) identifies two
steps in the planning stage, setting goals and identifying actions. Goals need to be
set, both short term and long term. SMART goals should be identified which are
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (Hamilton and Price, 2013).
These are all done in collaboration with the patient.
In action planning the actual care that is going to be implemented needs to be clearly
stated. Hogston (2011) advises using the REEPIG criteria to ensure that care is of
the highest standards. Firstly, that the care planned is Realistic given available
resources. Secondly, that the care planned is Explicitly stated. Be clear in exactly
what needs to be done so there is no room for misinterpretation of instructions.
Thirdly, Evidence based. That there is research that supports what is being
proposed. Fourthly, that the care being planned is Prioritised. The most urgent
problems being dealt with first. Fifth, is to Involve both the patient and other
members of the multidisciplinary team who are going to be involved in implementing
the care. And lastly, Goal centred, that the care planned will meet and achieve the
This is where the care is delivered and more than likely it will be the support worker
who will be delivering the majority of the basic and increasingly, more advanced
care. Especially when the patient is in their own home or a community setting.
Implementation of the care occurs throughout the twenty four hour period. As each
new member of the caring team comes on duty they need to re-assess if the care
being delivered is still appropriate. Has anything new developed to change the plan
of care. How is the patient responding to the care delivered? On-going assessment
of the patient is vital and again this is where good record keeping is important
The most important part of the nursing process after the assessment is done is
evaluating has the care achieved the desired result. This should not just occur at the
end of a course of treatment or care, but should occur constantly as care is being
implimented. Evaluation at the end of a course of treatment involves reassessment
of all the plan of care to determine if the expected outcomes have been achieved
(Yildirim and Ozkahraman, 2011). Hogston (2011:16) also states that evaluation is
an “opportunity to review the entire process and determine whether the assessment
was accurate and complete, the diagnosis correct, the goals realistic and achievable,
and the prescribed actions appropriate.” With evaluation the whole process starts
To perform a good assessment of a patient takes time and time must be devoted to
this crucial cornerstone. Otherwise the following stages will not have the information
required to deliver quality care. In a study by Abdelkader and Othman (2017:81) it
was found that “lack of knowledge, high patient nurse ratio/work load, and lack of
educating, training and motivating factors affected the application of the nursing
process.” These factors need to be recognised by managers and individual staff so
that sufficient time is devoted to it and knowledge and awareness is raised to the
important part this caring process plays in delivering high quality care.
So to conclude, this article has highlighted the importance of planning and delivering
care using the nursing process. Support workers need to be aware of the nursing
process and more importantly involved in all stages of it. Having an awareness of
how the assessment has been carried out and what nursing diagnosis has been
reached will make the care more relevant and assist in an effective evaluation stage.
This stage should be performed constantly as care is delivered, with the process
being cyclical in nature, the patient being re-assessed and care improved and
changed to meet the on-going needs of the patient. With care being predominantly
delivered by members of a multidisciplinary team perhaps the new term of a caring
process should be adopted rather than the term nursing process?
1. Support workers are key members of the team in ensuring the success of the
2. Support workers should be involved in all aspects of the nursing process.
3. Care should be planned using SMART goals.
4. Evaluation of care should occur throughout the implementation stage.
5. The term nursing process could be seen as being misleading where Care
Process would be a more accurate term today.
Abdelkader FA, Othman WNE (2017) Factors Affecting Implementation of Nursing
Process: Nurses’ Perspective. Journal of Nursing and Health science. Vol. 6 No. 3.
Alfaro-LeFevre R (2010) Applying Nursing Process: A Tool For Critical Thinking. 7th
ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins: Philadelphia.
American Nurses Association (2017) The Nursing Process.
Need/Thenursingprocess.html (accessed 29 June 2017).
Hamilton P & Price T (2013) The Nursing Process, Holistic Assessment and
Baseline Observations. In: Brooker C, Waugh A (eds) Nursing Practice:
Fundamentals of Holistic Care. Mosby Elsevier, London. 303-336.
Hogston R (2011) Managing Nursing Care. In: Foundations of Nursing Practice:
Themes, Concepts and Frameworks. 4th ed. Palgrave Macmillan: London. pp. 2-21.
Kozier B, Erb G, Berman A, Snyder s, Lake R & Harvey S (2008) Fundamentals of
Nursing: Concept, Process and Practice. Pearson Education: London.
Melin-Johansson C, Palmqvist R, Ronnberg L (2017) Clinical Intuition in the Nursing
Process and Decision-making – a Mixed Studies Review. Journal of Clinical Nursing.
Peate I (2013) The Student Nurse Toolkit: An Essential Guide For Surviving Your
Course. Wiley-Blackwell: Chichester.
Skills for Care and Skills for Health (2013) Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support
Workers and Adult Social Care Workers in England.
conduct/Code%20of%20Conduct%20Healthcare%20Support.pdf (accessed 29 June
Yildirim B Ozkahraman S (2011) Critical Thinking in Nursing Process and Education.
International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. Vol. 1 No. 13 pp. 257-262.
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