Medical Surgical Nursing Lewis

Medical Surgical Nursing Lewis

Medical-surgical nursing is a specialty in the field of nursing that provides direct care to patients with acute, complex medical conditions. A medical-surgical nurse is responsible for administering medications and treatments, preparing for procedures such as surgery or diagnostic testing, monitoring patient progress, following up on doctor’s orders and answering questions from patients and family members. Medical-surgical nurses must be knowledgeable about anatomy, physiology and disease processes as well as drug therapies used to treat these conditions. They also need to understand how different types of medical equipment work so they can safely use them on patients.

1. Assessment

  • Assessment is the first step in the nursing process. It includes history taking and a physical examination. History taking consists of asking questions about a patient’s symptoms, past medical history, social history, family history, and current medications. Physical examination includes looking for signs of abnormalities (e.g., swelling or redness) and measuring vital signs (e.g., blood pressure).
  • Assessment is a continuous process that continues throughout care provided by nurses who work together as members of interdisciplinary teams.*
  • Nursing assessments include psychosocial assessment; identification of risk factors; development of goals; planning interventions based on nursing diagnoses; monitoring progress toward desired outcomes through ongoing evaluation; modifying plans as needed based on data collected during evaluation.*

2. Diagnosis, Planning and Implementation

Diagnosis, Planning and Implementation

  • Diagnostic assessment: The goal of this stage is to determine what’s wrong with the patient. The nurse gathers information about the patient’s health history and conducts a physical examination. He or she may also order diagnostic tests such as blood work or imaging studies.
  • Treatment plan: Once you have a diagnosis, it’s time to decide on a treatment plan based on your assessment findings. For example, if a patient has been diagnosed with pneumonia but isn’t improving after receiving medications and oxygen therapy, you might recommend inserting a breathing tube into his mouth so that he can breathe more easily.

3. Evaluation

Evaluation is the process of evaluating a patient’s response to treatment. It is the most important step in the nursing process and is a continuous, dynamic process requiring ongoing assessment of each patient’s status. You must evaluate each unique situation individually to determine what data can be collected and how it will be used for further decision-making.

Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Nursing Practice provides an ideal introduction to the issues that nurses must address each day.

  • Ethical: Recognizing ethical dilemmas and resolving them in a way that is consistent with your personal values
  • Legal: Understanding how the law affects your practice and knowing how to comply with it
  • Professional: Knowing how to balance management responsibilities with clinical judgment

5. Patient Education and Health Promotion

As a patient, you need to be fully informed about your diagnosis and treatment plan. Your nurse will educate you about your condition and any medications that are being prescribed. It’s also important for you to learn about the side effects of these medications, as well as how they should be taken.

You should also be aware of what lifestyle changes may help prevent further complications from developing. This includes things like quitting smoking or getting more exercise, but could also include information on how to maintain healthy eating habits or deal with stress in a better way.

6. Spiritual and Cultural Aspects of Care

  • Spiritual and Cultural Aspects of Care

The nurse must be culturally sensitive, demonstrating cultural humility, awareness of individual and group differences among patients, and the ability to accommodate these differences in practice. The nurse must also be able to demonstrate cultural competence by understanding and applying the principles that guide communication across difference in order to provide safe care for all patients regardless of age or ethnicity (Fadiman & Marshall 2009). Examples of these principles include:

  • Listening attentively
  • Speaking clearly and using simple language
  • Being mindful not only when communicating with patients but also as they move through various interactions throughout their stay at your facility (e.g., staff members)

7. The Health Care System, Research, and Evidence-Based Practice

The health care system is comprised of the hospitals, clinics and physicians who provide services to patients. It also includes those who finance and regulate the provision of care. Research is important to nursing because it helps determine what kinds of treatment are effective in a particular clinical situation. It can also help identify problems with existing treatments. Nurses must keep up-to-date with research findings by reading journals, attending conferences and participating in online discussions about current topics in their field of practice.

Evidence-based practice refers to using evidence from research studies when considering whether or not to implement a new intervention into your practice (Adaption). In order for evidence-based practice techniques such as critical thinking or scientific inquiry skills will be applied successfully at any level within healthcare institutions such as hospitals, clinics etc., they need firstly an understanding about how best practices are determined within their institution (evidence based) before they can apply these skills effectively within their own

8. Nursing Process Focus on the Older Adult

The nursing process is used to help you care for your patients. The focus of this chapter is on the older adult. As you read through the material, think about how it applies to your patient population.

  • Older adults have unique health care needs because they are at increased risk for multiple problems and use more services than younger populations.
  • Older adults may have multiple caregivers (family members) who may not always be aware of each other’s involvement in the patient’s health care or what medications are prescribed and taken by each caregiver.
  • Older adults may also have multiple medications that interact with one another and can cause adverse drug reactions or side effects if they’re not taken as prescribed (elderly people often take a large number of medications). For example, an elderly woman takes digoxin for heart failure but takes aspirin every day because she has arthritis pain; if she goes out to dinner with friends who drink wine with their meal, her diggoxin level could rise dangerously high and lead to cardiac arrest within hours!

9. Nutrition, Hydration, and Metabolism

  • Nutrition, Hydration, and Metabolism


The nurse is responsible for assessing and monitoring the nutrition status of patients. This includes calculating energy requirements and administering feeding tubes or other supplemental nutritional support measures as needed.


Patients who are unable to take fluids orally may require intravenous (IV) therapy to restore fluid balance. Nurses are trained in this procedure and are responsible for administering IVs safely and efficiently.

Medical Surgical Nursing Lewis – 9th edition

Chapter 2: Anatomy and Physiology of the Body

Medical Surgical Nursing Lewis – 9th edition

ISBN-10: 0323266175

ISBN-13: 978-0323266173

Author: Linda S. Lewis

Publisher: Mosby

Medical Surgical Nursing Lewis – 9th edition is an excellent resource for your nursing education. I hope this outline has helped you with your studies.

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