Infections can occur anywhere in the body and can range from minor to life-threatening. As nurses, it is our responsibility to identify and address potential risks for infection in our patients. One way we can do this is by utilizing the NANDA nursing diagnosis of “Risk for Infection.”
NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Definition
According to NANDA International, “Risk for Infection” is defined as “vulnerability to the invasion and multiplication of pathogenic organisms.” In other words, it refers to a patient’s potential to develop an infection due to a variety of factors.
Defining Characteristics (Subjective and Objective)
- Complaints of pain, discomfort, or itchiness
- Reports of fever or chills
- Redness, swelling, or warmth of affected area
- Drainage or discharge from affected area
- Positive culture results
- Immunosuppression (due to disease or medication)
- Invasive procedures or devices
- Poor hygiene
- Exposure to pathogenic organisms
- Trauma or wounds
- Elderly individuals
- Individuals with chronic illnesses
- Individuals who have recently had surgery
- Individuals with weakened immune systems
- Individuals in long-term care facilities
- Urinary tract infections
- Wound infections
Suggestions for Use
- Assess the patient’s risk factors for infection
- Implement infection control measures, such as hand hygiene and proper wound care
- Monitor the patient’s vital signs, including temperature and white blood cell count
- Administer any prescribed antibiotics or antiviral medications
- Educate the patient and their family on ways to reduce their risk for infection
Suggested Alternative NANDA Diagnoses
- Impaired skin integrity
- Impaired wound healing
- Ineffective protection
- Ineffective health maintenance
- Be specific in identifying the location and type of infection when documenting
- Consider using additional diagnoses in addition to “Risk for Infection” to fully address the patient’s care needs
- Collaborate with the interdisciplinary team, including the physician and microbiologist, to determine the appropriate course of action for the patient
List of NOC Results with Explanation
- Infection Control: The patient’s risk for infection is identified and appropriate measures are taken to prevent the spread of infection.
- Immune Status: The patient’s immune system is able to effectively fight off potential infections.
- Tissue Integrity: The patient’s skin and wound integrity are maintained, preventing the entry of pathogenic organisms.
- Health Maintenance: The patient and their family are educated on ways to maintain their health and reduce their risk for infection.
List of NIC Interventions with Explanation
- Infection Control: Implementing proper hand hygiene and wound care techniques to prevent the spread of infection.
- Immune Enhancement: Administering medications to enhance the patient’s immune system and fight off potential infections.
- Tissue Integrity Promotion: Assessing and managing the patient’s skin and wound integrity to prevent the entry of pathogenic organisms.
- Health Education: Educating the patient and their family on ways to maintain their health and reduce their risk for infection.
As nurses, identifying and addressing potential risks for infection in our patients is crucial in preventing the spread of infection and promoting positive outcomes. Utilizing the NANDA nursing diagnosis of “Risk for Infection” can guide our assessment and intervention for our patients.