Respiratory Nursing Diagnoses

Respiratory Nursing Diagnoses

If you’re a respiratory nurse, you probably use these nursing diagnoses constantly. If you’re not a respiratory nurse, then these may be the diagnoses that make up your day-to-day life. Regardless of what role they play in your work, it’s important to know what they mean so that you can accurately document your patients’ condition and ensure patient safety!

Ineffective airway clearance

  • Ineffective Airway Clearance
  • Reduced Vital Capacity
  • Impaired Gas Exchange
  • Impaired Ventilation

Ineffective breathing pattern

A breathing pattern is any alteration in the rate, depth and rhythm of breathing. Ineffective breathing pattern can be caused by pain, anxiety, respiratory disorders and other factors. Assessment should involve observing the chest and abdomen for signs of adequate ventilation (normal respiration), such as symmetrical expansion with each breath. Irregularity or asymmetry may indicate a problem in one or more of these areas:

  • Chest – The chest expands during inspiration but does not contract completely between breaths; this is called abdominal breathing
  • Abdomen – The abdomen rises with inspiration but remains flat at rest

Impaired gas exchange

Impaired gas exchange can be caused by several different things. It may be due to:

  • Pneumonia
  • Asthma
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • The presence of a chest tube, which is a medical device used to drain fluid from the lungs.

Risk for activity intolerance

  • Examples of activities that could be affected by this diagnosis include:
  • slow walking, bending over
  • transferring from bed to wheelchair, sitting upright for extended periods of time (more than 30 minutes)
  • bathing, dressing oneself
  • Risk factors for activity intolerance include:
  • Adequate conditioning and strength training prior to admission; lack of regular physical activity while in the hospital or rehabilitation facility. Factors such as patient functional status (mobility), disease process, lifestyle choices (smoking), and environmental conditions can also influence the risk for developing activity intolerance.

Risk for ineffective airway clearance

The risk for ineffective airway clearance includes:

  • trouble breathing, such as coughing, wheezing and difficulty swallowing. These are signs of a problem with the lungs or airways.
  • frequent throat clearing or cough reflexes. The cough reflex is a protective mechanism that clears mucous from the throat and lungs—but if you’re doing it constantly, then there may be something wrong with your respiratory system (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

If you’re doing sterile respiratory procedures, these are the nursing diagnoses that you want to use.

If you’re doing sterile respiratory procedures, these are the nursing diagnoses that you want to use.

  • Impaired Gas Exchange: If a patient has trouble getting enough oxygen into their blood and tissues, this is an issue. It can be caused by airway obstruction or compromised lung function.
  • Ineffective Airway Clearance: If mucus builds up in someone’s lungs and they don’t cough it out or clear it with another method like suctioning, it can lead to impaired gas exchange due to mucus plugging up their airways.

With all of these nursing diagnoses, you have to remember that they’re not a static set of diagnoses. They can change over time as your patient’s condition changes and respond to interventions like treatment or surgery. The most important thing is that you’re always able to keep up with the diagnosis list so that you can provide adequate care for every stage of recovery!

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