Nursing Diagnosis for Anemia
As a nurse, when you are diagnosing a patient, you seek to identify the potential problems that he or she is facing. But why is it necessary to do this? Simply because patients have different health risks; despite, probably, suffering from the same condition.
The same case applies when you are to conduct a nursing diagnosis for an anemia patient. As a nurse, you’ll base your intervention on the diagnosis outcome to achieve the desired outcome.
What is Anemia?
Anemia is a health condition that is characterized by low haemoglobin concentration than the normal levels. Anaemia is not considered as a disease, but rather it is the most prevalent hematologic underlying disorder. Due to the lower levels of the erythrocytes in the blood, the condition reflects fever.
This condition is gradually rising across the globe, and it is affecting people of all ages. Indeed, anemia is affecting about 25% of the population, with some sections of the world being severely affected. It is more severe for pregnant women and can get out of proportion is not treated on time. This article provides a step to step guide on how to diagnose a patient suffering from anemia.
Why diagnose Anemia Patients?
Proper diagnosis of anemia patient is necessary for nursing as it seeks to provide an intervention based on the nature of the condition. Generally, we classify anemia into three, which is the primary rationale for nursing diagnosis for anemia patients.
From a physiologic approach, anemia is classified based on the cause of the deficiency: it could be due to a defect in erythrocytes production, destruction, or losses due to bleeding. As such, the three types of anemia are:
- Hypoproliferative anemia- the marrow cannot produce an adequate number of erythrocytes.
- Hemolytic Anemia- this is premature destruction of erythrocytes leading to the conversion of haemoglobin to bilirubin and ultimately a reduction in the level below normal.
- Bleeding Anemia- bleeding could be caused by an injury leading to loss of erythrocytes.
In each of the three categories of anemia, the nurse has to make an intervention based on the physiologic cause of anemia.
Nursing Diagnosis and Planning Goals
In a nursing diagnosis, the intention is to use appropriate energy conservation principles. Besides, the nurse also seeks to reduce fatigue and promote the ability to perform desired activities. The process of diagnosis is also meant to create an understanding of the patient’s disease and formulate the treatment plan.
The nurse conducts a diagnosis to reduce the risk of infection. To assess the risk, the nurse monitors the fever and uses preventive measures to minimize the risk of infection. The nursing diagnosis is also meant to ensure that vital signs of the patient remain within the normal range. More importantly, for bleeding patients, the goal is to reduce the risk of bleeding and ensure the absence of bruises on the patient.
Nursing Assessment and Diagnosis
As part of the diagnosis process, a nurse conducts an assessment to understand the state of the patient and ensure a complication-free recovery.
As part of the patient review process, it is imperative to have an understanding of the patient’s history. In some instances, anemia symptoms may develop gradually characterized by progressive weaknesses. As such, a historical description of the patient may help to establish whether the condition was based on lifestyle. In some cases, patients may describe progressive symptoms of anemia as the progression of shortness of breath and headache or signs related to thrombocytopenia such as bruising and bleeding on the mucous membrane. The historical description helps the nurse to understand the patient better.
The nurse may inspect the patient to visualize some of the eminent symptoms. For instance, some patients exhibit retinal bleeding, ecchymosis, petechiae, especially if thrombocytopenia is eminent. The physical inspection may also establish the level of consciousness and degree of weakness on the patients. In instances where general malaise is evident and low level of consciousness, there is potential bleeding in the Central Nervous system (CNS). Such physical inspections may help the nurse order an in-depth diagnosis.
The nurse may also conduct auscultations, which may target the heart, lungs, and other vital organs using the stethoscope. Doing this may reveal bibasilar crackles, gallop murmurs if the patient is suffering from severe anemia. This assessment is coupled with an evaluation of fever, rectal ulceration, and sore throat to determine if there are chances of infection on the patient. Such assessment helps in determining whether the patient could be suffering from the risk of infection. Auscultations helps to establish if there is a normal functioning of the body organs.
This is a situation where the patient is overwhelmed with sustained exhaustion characterized by decreased physical and mental capacity. It is commonly associated with tissue hypoxia due to reduced levels of haemoglobin and hence reduced ability of the blood to carry oxygen. Fatigue is also related to dyspnea and inability to maintain the normal body physique. In some cases, patients who are ordered to rest also report fatigue and lack of energy. The nurse must assess the level of fatigue to act accordingly and normalize the patient.
Assess current knowledge
Part of the patient’s intervention may include diet and change of lifestyle by the patient. As such, the nurse must establish the level of knowledge by the patient concerning the disease. As such, the nurse conducts an assessment to determine the absence or deficiency of cognitive information regarding anemia. This would form the basis for intervention for health improvement.
Risk of Bleeding
For patients with bleeding anemia, the nurse should continuously monitor the risk of bleeding. The continued bleeding would continuously decrease the blood volume and ultimately compromise the health of the patient. Some of the risk factors that are associated with such include bone marrow malformation or marrow replacement. To assess this, the nurse will determine the gum, platelets levels, and presence of bruises.
When writing a nursing diagnosis of patients, it is imperative to cover all assessments necessary to understand the condition of the patient. Nonetheless, it is essential also to ensure that the patient is shielded from infections, and therefore, risk of infection should also be included. It is always to keep in mind that nursing diagnosis should help the patient recover without complications.