A nursing care plan gives nurses direction and information when it comes to providing patient care. Pediatric nursing care plans, like other nursing care plans, contain a number of components, all of which may be altered or slightly changed depending on need or case scenario. The basic function of a nursing care plan is to elaborate on diagnosis, risk factors, interventions, rationales and outcomes in regard to patient care, according to Nursing Care Plans 1. Understanding the basics of what are included in pediatric nursing care plans will help you provide better care for your patients 2.
A care plan may be formulated by diagnosis, which gives the pediatric nurse a variety of categories to choose from, including ineffective breathing, decreased cardiac output, deficient fluid volume or impaired gas exchange, just to name a few. The nurse preparing a pediatric care plan must have a proper diagnosis in order to complete a well-formulated and planned course of action for patient care.
Once the diagnosis is determined, the nurse will need to determine desired outcomes following treatment. For example, if a newborn infant was diagnosed with insufficient fluid balance, the nursing outcomes would be, ideally, hydration and fluid balance. Each diagnosis will offer alternative outcomes or effective types of treatment that may remedy or alleviate the condition presented.
A pediatric, or any other form of nursing care plan, should also specify interventions. Interventions are processes that a nurse can take to rectify or reduce a problem. Continuing with the infant with deficient fluid volume, some possible interventions may include fluid resuscitation, fluid management and fluid monitoring.
The nurse developing a pediatric care plan needs to continually assess the patient for changes in condition. For example, after obtaining a patient history and again using the deficient fluid volume for an infant, intake or output of fluids will be directed in the assessment portion of the care plan. So will accurately measuring input and output and monitoring and accurately documenting vital signs such as blood pressure. Other forms of assessment may be to check the amount of urine flow as well as its color and regularly check the infant's temperature. Fevers or febrile conditions may accelerate decrease in body fluid production and retention.
This portion of the care plan will describe what the nurse can or will do to improve the patient's condition. For example, a fluid intravenous line, known as an IV, may be recommended for the fluid-deficient infant.
Continuity of Care
The nursing care plan should also contain plans to educate the patient or parents for quality care and prevention of dehydration in the future 1.
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