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Defining and Learning About Nursing Diagnosis for Dementia

According to NANDA (North American Nursing Diagnosis Association), a nursing diagnosis is a clinical conclusion relating to a human response to a health condition or a life process, or a susceptibility to that response by an individual, family, group or community.

A nursing diagnosis is entirely different from a medical diagnosis because a medical diagnosis is only a piece of the puzzle. On the other hand, nursing diagnosis can provide an in-depth assessment essential to formulating an accurate plan of care. It serves as the core for planning out the nursing intervention to be administered by the nurse or carer.

There are different classifications of nursing diagnosis. They are as follows:

  1. Problem-focused Nursing Diagnosis
    This classification is patient-specific because no two patients are alike when it comes to the manifestations of the signs and symptoms, their adaptability to change in treatment or the progression of a disease, and how their body responds to these changes. A thorough nursing assessment must then be conducted in order to identify client-specific issues and to develop an effective nursing care plan. Related factors are also taken into consideration such as the reasons why the signs and symptoms appear along with the patient's verbal and non-verbal cues. An example of problem-focused nursing diagnosis for dementia is: "Impaired Social Interaction related to cognitive impairment." In this instance, dementia is the defining factor and underlying factor why there is a presence of impaired interactions.

  2. Health Promotion Nursing Diagnosis
    This catalogue of nursing diagnosis focuses on driving motivation or desire to improve the current health status of the patient. The affected individual, family member, and other carers are included when doing the nursing care plan for this kind nursing diagnosis. Family members and carers are included in the health teaching on how to achieve a desirable outcome for their loved one or patient. One example of health promotion nursing diagnosis for dementia is showing the "desire to communicate as demonstrated by a pleased facial expression, slurring speech, and beckoning hand gestures."

  3. Risk Nursing Diagnosis
    A nursing diagnosis relating to a medical, physical, psychological, and environmental threat to an individual. The desirable outcome is to reduce risk or totally eliminate the risk for the patient. A sample of health promotion nursing diagnosis for dementia is the "Risk for Violence related to failure to recognize people, time, day, or event."
  4. Nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan go hand in hand and is a dynamic part of the nursing care process that should be taught well to the nursing students and be well practiced. This is a learning method, not just for the students, but as well as for the professional nurses alike, to enhance their skills in the holistic approach of the nursing care process. By doing so, we are able to deliver effective and safe care for our loved ones or patients. We can help them improve their current health status, assist them in reaching their optimal health, and ease their burden as they go through the last stage of their life.

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