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Nursing diagnosis: Maybe we shouldn’t teach it as a “thing to do”

January 31, 2023

Nursing diagnoses are used for documentation, but nurses often tend to think using clinical reasoning and diagnosing patients is just another task or thing they have to do that keeps them from their “real work.” Yet, we can’t imagine a physician or physical therapist not identifying a diagnosis. 

Why is that? 

Looking at our teaching methods might provide the clue: Do we integrate diagnosis throughout our entire curriculum, emphasizing the importance of diagnosis to ensure appropriate care? Do we structure our content to discuss the concepts underlying nursing diagnoses, or do we teach them as an “add-on” to medical diagnoses, and give little to no time to actually teach our own concepts? Are we still assigning cumbersome exercises in university classes that simply drive home the belief that diagnosis is all about documentation, rather than representing the outcome of our clinical reasoning?

Let’s take a step back and remember we are a discipline, with our own body of knowledge – and teach our students how to give voice to what we bring to the table of interdisciplinary care: nursing knowledge, nursing concepts, and nursing judgments!
It’s time to teach clinical reasoning and nursing diagnosis. Need help? Consider attending our webinar in April: “Clinical Judgment & Decision-Making: The Power of Using Functional Health Patterns.”

Categorized in: NANDA-I Education, Upcoming Events

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