The Nursing Process

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The nursing process is a modified scientific method specific to nursing care. The nursing process uses clinical judgment to balance knowledge and understanding between intuition and clinical evidence in which critical thinking will play a part to categorize a patient’s problem and the course of action. The nursing process is defined in five stages assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation. These five stages are used as a tool to critical thinking.
During the assessment phase the nurse will continuously gather data about her patient. For example taking vital signs, observing breathing patterns and monitoring blood glucose will give us internal details about how the patient is doing. During this time the nurse will predict, detect or eliminate health problems. If a problem is identified she will develop a comprehensive plan and clarify expected out comes. For example the nurse notices the patient has an increased respiratory rate, she is unaware of patient’s recent activity but she sees the head of the bed flat and immediately elevates the head of the bed. The nurse has identified a problem and developed a short term plan for immediate resolution but further planning will be needed. She will gather further information from her client such as present illnesses, history, and any underlying risk such as smoking. This leads us into our next phase of diagnosis. During the diagnosis phase the nurse will analyze the assessment data, draw conclusions and determine actual and potential health problems. For example, during the nurses’ assessment she learns that the client had emphysema 2 years ago and smokes 4-5 cigarettes a day. Although the patient did not come to the hospital for this particular health concern it is a potential health concern. This is a health state that could definitely be improved.

Furthermore the nurse will need to

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