Shortness of Breath Nursing Diagnosis and Nursing Care Plans - NurseStudy.Net (2023)

Shortness of Breath Nursing Care Plans Diagnosis and Interventions

Shortness of Breath NCLEX Review and Nursing Care Plans

Often known as dyspnea, shortness of breath is the sensation of not being able to get enough air into the lungs. There is also a feeling of tightening in the chest during this time. Shortness of breath or difficulty of breathing is a symptom of a variety of medical diseases, most commonly heart or lung disease.

Dyspnea can, however, be a symptom of other conditions such as asthma, allergies, or nervousness.

However, transient dyspnea might occur after a strenuous workout or other physical activity.

Signs and Symptoms of Shortness of Breath

Shortness of Breath is characterized by difficult breathing. After strenuous activity, it may last for 1 or 2 minutes. A person may feel like there is not enough air into the lungs in mild cases.

In severe circumstances, however, it can be like the feeling of suffocating. Overexertion, time spent at high altitude, or a symptom of a variety of illnesses can all cause dyspnea.

Shortness of Breath can be identified by observing the following symptoms:

  • Dyspnea (shortness of breath) caused by physical activity or a medical condition
  • As a result of breathing issues, feeling suffocated or smothered
  • A struggle to breathe
  • Chest tightness
  • Breathing that is quick and shallow
  • Heart palpitations
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing

It’s understandable if someone experiences shortness of breath after a vigorous workout. However, It is advised to seek medical help if any of the following symptoms are present:

  • After strenuous activity, I took a short breath sooner than usual.
  • Out of breath after an activity that used to be easy before.
  • Dyspnea for no apparent reason.

Causes of Dyspnea

Short-term shortness of breath is frequently brought on by exercise. Following severe exercise, a person may find it difficult to get enough oxygen to meet their body’s needs. It’s natural to need a few minutes to regain breath in these situations.

This will usually improve with rest, and breathing will be normal again in a matter of minutes. Shortness of breath can be caused by a variety of medical disorders. Conditions that cause sudden breathlessness should always be treated as an emergency.

Short-term shortness of breath can be caused by a variety of factors, which may include:

  • Heart failure that occurs unexpectedly
  • Blood pressure that is too low
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Pneumothorax
  • Poisoning by carbon monoxide
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Anxiety or stress
  • Temperature extremes
  • Pleural effusion
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • A piece of food or any object blocking the airway

Chronic dyspnea can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
  • Interstitial Lung Disease
  • Heart Disease
  • Difficulty in maintaining physical fitness
  • Lung cancer
  • Obesity
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Pleural effusion

Asthma can be a long-term illness or a life-threatening emergency. This can vary depending on the severity of the disease.

Risk Factors for Shortness of Breath

  • Existing medical conditions – dyspnea is the most common symptom of asthma. People with asthma may experience dyspnea if they are exposed to allergens such as pollen or mold. Different types of obstructive lung disorders are referred to as COPD. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are two of them.
  • Pollutants in the environment – these include chemicals, fumes, dust, and smoke that can make breathing difficult for patients. Tobacco smoking, for example, is highly preventable pollution. According to the COPD Foundation, while not everyone with dyspnea has COPD, 90 percent of people with COPD had smoked at some point in their lives.

Diagnosis of Shortness of Breath

Doctors and nurses will assess the airway, breathing, and circulation (ABCs) to see if emergency treatment is required. If this isn’t the case, a series of tests will be performed to figure out what’s causing the dyspnea. These may include the following:

  • Physical examination – to check the pulse, rate of breathing, BMI, and body temperature. A high temperature could indicate that a fever is producing dyspnea, while an irregular pulse could indicate a cardiac problem.
  • Spirometry – used to determine the patient’s lung capacity and airflow. This can assist in determining the kind and severity of a person’s respiratory difficulties.
  • Imaging scans – to obtain a more specific diagnosis of dyspnea and to assess the health of the person’s heart, lungs, and related systems, doctors may order chest X-rays and computed tomography (CT) images. An electrocardiogram (ECG) can reveal any indicators of a heart attack or other electrical issue in the heart.
  • A review of the patient’s medical history
  • Blood tests

Treatment for Shortness of Breath

  1. Medical management of the existing health condition. Dyspnea is usually treated by addressing the underlying cause, such as asthma, COPD, etc. This may include oxygen supplementation, repositioning the patient, removal of thick secretions, etc.
  2. Lifestyle changes. If the dyspnea is caused by obesity and a difficulty in regulating the fitness level, eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly will help alleviate symptoms. Current research says that moderate weight loss, even without exercise, can help obese patients to lessen dyspnea symptoms.
  3. Pulmonary Rehabilitation. A pulmonologist, who specializes in the health of the lungs and respiratory system, is needed to treat COPD and other lung disorders. To avoid being out of breath, it is required to have supplemental oxygen in the form of a portable tank. Researchers have recently found that pulmonary rehabilitation can help those with dyspnea symptoms. This is a supervised exercise and breathing technique program designed to help overcome lung problems.
  4. Cardiac Rehabilitation. Dyspnea is one of the symptoms of heart failure. The heart is too weak to pump enough oxygenated blood to meet the body’s needs if there is heart failure. Heart failure and other heart-related disorders can be managed with cardiac rehabilitation. In severe situations of heart failure, an artificial pump may be required to help the heart function.

Prevention of Shortness of Breath

Dyspnea can be avoided or at least mitigated by preventing or controlling the various causes. Smoking is the most evident cause of dyspnea or shortness of breath. Smoking cessation is critical for avoiding not just dyspnea, but many other respiratory issues. The following steps will help in preventing dyspnea and optimizing lung health:

  • Stop smoking. Join smoking cessation programs and groups to help in the journey towards a smoke-free lifestyle.
  • Whenever possible, avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Other environmental triggers, such as chemical odors and wood smoke, should be avoided.
  • Start a weight loss plan. Losing weight can help strengthen the cardiovascular and respiratory systems by reducing stress on the heart and lungs and making exercise simpler.
  • At altitudes above 5,000 feet, take time acclimating to higher altitudes, ease into activities gradually.
  • Treat health conditions that cause dyspnea. Adhering to treatment plans to manage these conditions will help to prevent dyspnea.
  • Avoid air pollution and airborne chemicals by using a mask to filter irritants, and make sure that there is a well-ventilated workplace.
  • Avoid overexertion or intense physical activity that can cause short-term dyspnea.

Nursing Diagnosis for Shortness of Breath

Nursing Care Plans for Shortness of Breath 1

Ineffective Breathing Pattern

Nursing Diagnosis: Ineffective Breathing Pattern related to airway obstruction, secondary to asthma, as evidenced by dyspnea, bradypnea, nasal flaring, and use of accessory muscles when breathing.

Desired Outcomes:

  • The patient will be able to demonstrate calm breathing at a normal rate and depth and the absence of dyspnea.
  • The patient will be able to maintain an effective breathing pattern.
  • The patient will have respiratory rates within the normal range.
  • The patient will be able to verbalize comfort when breathing.
Shortness of Breath Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess the patient every 4 hours, check and record the patient’s breathing rate and depth. Adults breathe at a pace of 10 to 20 breaths per minute on average. When there is a change in breathing patterns, it is critical to act quickly to recognize early indicators of respiratory system damage.
Determine the patient’s ABG levels in accordance with facility policy.This keeps track of the patient’s oxygenation and ventilation levels.
Observe the patient’s breathing habits. Breathing patterns that are unusual could indicate an underlying sickness or dysfunction. Cheyne-Stokes respiration is a symptom of bilateral brain damage or metabolic disorders in the deep cerebral or diencephalon. The failure of the respiratory centers in the pons and medulla is linked to apneusis and ataxic breathing.
Encourage the patient to perform deep breaths. Demonstrate deep breathing techniques which may include emphasizing slow inhalation, holding end inspiration for a few seconds, performing passive exhalation, and using an incentive spirometer.Deep inhalation is encouraged by these procedures, which enhances oxygenation and prevents atelectasis. Controlled breathing techniques may also help tachypneic patients breathe more slowly. Air trapping is avoided by exhaling slowly.
Advise the patient with chronic respiratory disease to practice diaphragmatic breathing.This approach relaxes muscles while also increasing oxygen levels in the patient.
Examine whether or not inspiratory muscle exercise is appropriate for the patient.Inspiratory muscle exercise is a training that enhances respiratory muscle control and inspiratory muscle strength.
Encourage the patient to take regular breaks in between activities and teach the patients how to pace themselves.Shortness of breath might be exacerbated by increased activity. Ensure that the patient gets plenty of rest in between heavy activity.

Shortness of Breath Nursing Care Plan 2

Ineffective Airway Clearance

Nursing Diagnosis: Ineffective Airway Clearance related to copious and persistent bronchial secretions secondary to pertussis, as evidenced by dyspnea, increased mucus secretions, and productive cough.

Desired Outcome:

  • The patient will be able to maintain clear and open airways as evidenced by normal breath sounds, normal depth, and rate of respirations.
  • The patient will demonstrate the ability to effectively cough up secretions after treatments and deep breathing exercises.
  • The patient will demonstrate increased air exchange.
  • The patient will be able to classify methods to improve the removal of secretions.
  • The patient will recognize the significance in changes of sputum such as the color, characteristics, and amount.
  • The patient will be able to identify and avoid necessary factors that limit effective airway clearance.
Shortness of Breath Nursing InterventionsRationale
Educated the patient about the proper coughing and breathing techniques. Teach the patient how to cough and breathe properly (For example, take a deep breath, hold it for 2 seconds, then cough twice or three times in a row.) to maintain a clear airway.
Encourage the patient to perform effective coughing. Educate the patient on the use of quad and huff techniques, incentive spirometry.These methods will help in loosening the mucus and aid in the effective removal of secretions by coughing up effectively.
Educate the patient about the importance of proper positioning. Discuss the significance of ambulation, as well as the use of a pillow or hand splint when coughing. If the patient can tolerate it, put the patient in an upright Fowler’s position. To avoid sliding down in bed, check the patient’s position on a regular basis. This position will help the patient to breath properly by increasing oxygenation.
Encourage the patient to increase oral fluid intake. Encourage the patient to drink 3 liters of water per day, within the limits of cardiac reserve and renal function.This will help in loosening the mucus and will help in the removal of secretions.

Shortness of Breath Nursing Care Plan 3

Impaired Gas Exchange

Nursing Diagnosis: Impaired Gas Exchange related to changes in oxygen supply, destruction of the alveoli, and changes in the alveolar-capillary membrane, secondary to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as evidenced by dyspnea, SpO2 level of 78%, confusion, and restlessness.

Desired Outcomes:

  • The patient will be able to demonstrate improved breathing and will show normal oxygenation of tissues as measured by normal arterial blood gasses (ABG) results, and will have no signs of respiratory distress.
  • The patient will be able to participate in the treatment plan to the best of his/her ability.
Shortness of Breath Nursing InterventionsRationale
Evaluate the patient and keep track of the breathing rate and depth. The usage of accessory muscles, pursed-lip respiration, and incapacity to speak or converse should also be noted.To determine the severity of respiratory discomfort or the length of time a disease has been present.
Assess the patient and check the color of the skin and mucous membranes on a regular basis.Cyanosis can be either peripheral (as in the nail beds) or central (as in the lips or earlobes). Advanced hypoxemia is indicated by duskiness and central cyanosis.
Observe the patient for changes in consciousness and mental condition. Hypoxia is characterized by restlessness, agitation, and worry. Worsening ABGs accompanied by disorientation or somnolence are signs of hypoxia-induced brain dysfunction.
Monitor the patient’s vital signs and heart rate. The effects of systemic hypoxemia on heart function might manifest as tachycardia, dysrhythmias, and changes in blood pressure.
Examine the patient’s breath sounds, note any areas of reduced airflow or unusual sounds. Because of reduced airflow or areas of consolidation, breath sounds may be weak. Wheezes could suggest bronchospasm or secretory retention. Interstitial fluid or cardiac decompensation may be indicated by scattered moist crackles.
Position the patient properly. Elevate the head of the bed and get the patient into a position that will make breathing easier. As tolerated, include periods of time in a prone position. Encourage deep, slow, or pursed-lip breathing as needed or tolerated by the patient.To reduce airway collapse, dyspnea, and labor of breathing, an upright position and breathing exercises can help increase oxygen supply. To raise Pao2, lie down in a prone position.
Examine the patient’s sleeping habits, take note of any complaints, and see if the patient appears to be well-rested. Allow for uninterrupted sleep by providing a calm environment, group care, or monitoring activities; limit stimulants such as caffeine; encourage a comfortable position while attempting to sleep in bed.Multiple external stimuli, as well as the presence of dyspnea, might make it difficult to relax and sleep.
Monitor the patient’s oxygen saturation and adjust oxygen as needed to keep Sp02 within the target range, which is usually between 88 and 92 percent in a COPD patient. .A pulse oximetry measurement of less than 88 percent may require oxygen administration, whereas a reading of 92 percent or above may necessitate oxygen titration or discontinuation.

Shortness of Breath Nursing Care Plan 4

Activity Intolerance

Nursing Diagnosis: Activity Intolerance related to the imbalance oxygen supply and demand due to ineffective work of breathing secondary to COPD as evidenced by dyspnea during exercise, breathing difficulty, and excessive decrease or increase in respiratory rate.

Desired Outcomes:

  • The patient will be able to report decreased episodes of shortness of breath when performing an activity.
  • The patient will be able to give a rate of 3 or less on a scale of 0-10 on perceived breathing exertion.
Shortness of Breath Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess the patient’s respiratory response to activities, including breathing rate and depth, oxygen saturation, and the usage of auxiliary muscles for breathing.Patients with COPD may experience hypoxia during increased exercise and may require oxygen therapy to avoid hypoxemia, which puts them at risk for exacerbations of the disease.
Determine the patient’s nutritional needs.During physical exertion, adequate energy reserves are required.
Maintain the patient’s recommended level of activity.It aids in the development of tolerance and the reduction of dyspnea episodes.
Allow the patient to have at least 90 minutes of uninterrupted rest in between activities.Resting undisturbed lowers oxygen consumption and provides for optimal physiological recuperation.
Educate the patient on how to perform Active range of motion (ROM) exercises and assist the patient while doing the exercise.Aids in the development of stamina and the avoidance of the difficulties that come with limited movement.
Instruct the patient on energy-saving strategies such as keeping frequently used objects close at hand, sitting down to complete chores, frequently changing positions, and maintaining a steady pace of work.These methods lower oxygen consumption, allowing for longer periods of exercise.
Teach the patient breathing exercises like diaphragmatic and pursed-lip breathing to improve their breathing capacity.These strategies lengthen the exhalation duration, which reduces carbon dioxide retention.
Assist the patient in getting a referral to a pulmonary rehabilitation program if necessary. The patient can learn about diet, breathing and relaxation techniques, medication information, avoiding exacerbations, and strategies to live better with COPD through this program.

Shortness of Breath Nursing Care Plan 5


Nursing Diagnosis: Fatigue related to labored breathing, respiratory distress, and hypoxia, secondary to pneumonia, as evidenced by dyspnea, increased pulse rate, increased respiratory rate, and restlessness.

Desired Outcome: The patient will be able to show signs of decreased fatigue as evidenced by improved sleeping habits, calmness, ability to perform daily activities, and a calmer demeanor.

Nursing Diagnosis for Vomiting

Nursing Diagnosis for Vomiting

Shortness of Breath Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess the patient’s vital signs every four hours. Keep track of the frequency of breathing work.Identifying and notifying changes in vital signs enable the nurse to conduct prompt action to identify a solution to the problem and reduce weariness.
Assess the patient for changes in the level of consciousness, note any presence of shortness of breath, tachycardia, irritability, weariness, and restlessness are all indications of hypoxiaDetermining these symptoms as soon as possible facilitates timely management and the reduction of weariness.
As the child’s condition improves, encourage basic, peaceful, age-appropriate play activities.Physical and mental comfort improves one’s overall well-being, promotes relaxation, and reduces oxygen consumption and fatigue.
Allow scheduled and integrated nursing care to provide for uninterrupted rest and sleep. Create a calm and relaxing atmosphere with proper ventilation.Rest is encouraged to cope with dyspnea. Stress and anxiety levels need to be reduced through frequent rest periods.
Allow for the presence of a significant other during nursing care and other procedures.Because the presence of significant individuals reduces worry and anxiety, allowing them to be with the patient may help reduce shortness of breath due to anxiety towards nursing care especially prior and during procedures.

Nursing References

Ackley, B. J., Ladwig, G. B., Makic, M. B., Martinez-Kratz, M. R., & Zanotti, M. (2020).Nursing diagnoses handbook: An evidence-based guide to planning care. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. Buy on Amazon

Gulanick, M., & Myers, J. L. (2017).Nursing care plans: Diagnoses, interventions, & outcomes. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. Buy on Amazon

Ignatavicius, D. D., Workman, M. L., Rebar, C. R., & Heimgartner, N. M. (2018).Medical-surgical nursing: Concepts for interprofessional collaborative care. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. Buy on Amazon

Silvestri, L. A. (2020).Saunders comprehensive review for the NCLEX-RN examination. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. Buy on Amazon


Please follow your facilities guidelines, policies, and procedures.

The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

This information is intended to be nursing education and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.


What is a nursing diagnosis for shortness of breath? ›

The primary symptom to assess when a patient is experiencing decreased oxygenation is their level of dyspnea, the medical term for the subjective feeling of shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Patients can be asked to rate their dyspnea on a scale of 0-10, similar to using a pain rating scale.

What are the nursing interventions for shortness of breath? ›

Types of interventions
  • Breathing training or breathing control exercises (e.g. diaphragmatic breathing, pursed lip breathing, body position exercises, respiratory muscle training).
  • Cool air (e.g. use of a handheld fan).
  • Chest wall vibration.
Jun 21, 2017

What are common nursing diagnoses for respiratory related problems? ›

Nursing Diagnosis
  • Impaired gas exchange related to increased alveolar-capillary permeability, interstitial edema, and decreased lung compliance.
  • Ineffective breathing pattern.
  • Ineffective airway clearance.
  • Activity intolerance.
  • Risk for aspiration.
  • Anxiety (specify level: mild, moderate, severe, panic)
Apr 6, 2023

Is ineffective breathing a nursing diagnosis? ›

In normal conditions, the breathing pattern satisfies the need for oxygenation of the body. However, situations where there is fatigue, airway impairment due to secretion and decreased pulmonary expansion characterize the nursing diagnosis (ND) ineffective breathing pattern (IBP)3.

What diagnosis is related to shortness of breath? ›

Chronic dyspnea is usually due to one of a small number of causes: bronchial asthma, COPD, congestive heart failure, interstitial lung disease, pneumonia, and mental disorders (e.g., anxiety disorders, panic disorders, somatization disorders) (3, 12).

What causes shortness of breath diagnosis? ›

Overview. Shortness of breath (dyspnea) is most commonly caused by heart or lung conditions. Other causes include anemia, anxiety, lack of exercise or living with obesity.

What is the action plan for breathlessness? ›

Plan your day: Don't try to fit too much in—allow plenty of time to carry out tasks so that you don't have to rush. Pace yourself: Cut bigger tasks down into smaller manageable parts. Use your 'positions of ease' when you get breathless. Allow for plenty of rest periods between each task.

How to write nursing diagnosis for ineffective breathing pattern? ›

Nursing Assessment for Ineffective Breathing Pattern
  1. Assess medical history for possible causes of ineffective breathing. ...
  2. Assess breath sounds and other vital signs. ...
  3. Monitor for anxiety or change in mental status. ...
  4. Review ABGs. ...
  5. Assess for pain. ...
  6. Assess for oversedation. ...
  7. Assess for secretions or ability to cough.
Oct 19, 2021

What is the most common cause of shortness of breath? ›

While there are many causes of shortness of breath, the most common causes are lung disease, heart disease, or deconditioning (lack of exercise, especially in people who are overweight or obese).

What would your top 4 priority interventions be for a patient with respiratory distress? ›

Nursing Intervention

Administer oxygen as prescribed. Position client in high fowler's position. Restrict fluid intake as prescribed. Provide respiratory treatment as prescribed.

What are respiratory diagnosis examples? ›

Some of the most common are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, occupational lung diseases and pulmonary hypertension. In addition to tobacco smoke, other risk factors include air pollution, occupational chemicals and dusts, and frequent lower respiratory infections during childhood.

What is ineffective breathing problem related to? ›

Ineffective Breathing Pattern/Related to:

Pain that reduces chest expansion (abdominal pain, back pain, chest wall pain) Reduced activity due to illness. Inflammation to lung tissue (pneumonia, bronchitis, acute asthma) Pressure on the diaphragm.

What are the three types of shortness of breath? ›

They include:
  • Orthopnea, when you feel short of breath when you lie down. ...
  • A similar condition called paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea can make you feel so short of breath that you wake up in the middle of the night. ...
  • Trepopnea is a kind of dyspnea that happens when you lie on a certain side.
Aug 28, 2022

What are two causes of shortness of breath? ›

What Causes Shortness of Breath?
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Heart attack.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Asthma flare-up.
  • Pneumonia.
  • Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs)
  • Emotional distress or a panic attack.
Nov 17, 2022

What is medically known as shortness of breath? ›

Listen to pronunciation. (DISP-nee-uh) Difficult, painful breathing or shortness of breath.

How do you know if shortness of breath is heart related? ›

If shortness of breath happens when you're clearly not exerting yourself, when you're doing something you normally could do without feeling winded, or comes on suddenly, those are warning signs that a heart issue could potentially be to blame.

Can you have shortness of breath but oxygen level is normal? ›

A person may have dyspnea even though the actual levels of oxygen are within a normal range. It is important to understand that people do not suffocate or die from dyspnea. But tell your health care team right away if you have any of these symptoms or if they get worse.

What is an objective assessment for shortness of breath? ›

Objective Assessment. A focused respiratory objective assessment includes interpretation of vital signs; inspection of the patient's breathing pattern, skin color, and respiratory status; palpation to identify abnormalities; and auscultation of lung sounds using a stethoscope.

How do you assess the severity of shortness of breath? ›

There are a number of measurement tools available for assessing dyspnoea, including:
  1. Modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) Dyspnoea Scale.
  2. Modified Borg Dyspnoea Scale (0-10), which is mostly used to asses dyspnoea during exercise or activities.

Is shortness of breath subjective or objective? ›

Breathlessness is described as a subjective experience of breathing discomfort that consists of qualitatively distinct sensations that vary in intensity.

What helps shortness of breath in elderly? ›

For quick relief, help the body relax. While sitting, lean forward resting the elbows on the knees. Many people do this naturally. Sitting in front of a fan may help shortness of breath; however, some seniors require oxygen.

What can cause shortness of breath in the elderly? ›

What Causes of Shortness of Breath in Seniors?
  • Intense Physical Activity. ...
  • High Altitude. ...
  • Cold or Dry Climate. ...
  • Pollution. ...
  • Asthma. ...
  • Pulmonary Infections such as Pneumonia. ...
  • Interstitial Lung Disease. ...
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Jun 9, 2021

What immediate intervention is required when the patient is having difficulty breathing? ›

If someone is having breathing difficulty, call 911 or your local emergency number right away, then: Check the person's airway, breathing, and pulse. If necessary, begin CPR. Loosen any tight clothing.

What is the first intervention for respiratory failure? ›

However, the initial steps in managing patients with acute respiratory failure should start by assessing the airway, breathing, and circulation (ABC). Supportive measures depend on patent airways to maintain adequate oxygenation, ventilation, and correction of blood gas abnormalities.

What treatment is most appropriate for a patient in respiratory distress? ›

The most common treatment for ARDS is oxygen therapy. This involves delivering extra oxygen to patients, through a mask, nasal cannula (two small tubes that enter the nose), or a tube inserted directly into the windpipe. Ventilator support: All patients with ARDS need oxygen therapy, as noted above.

What are the four 4 types of nursing diagnosis? ›

NANDA-I recognizes four categories of nursing diagnoses: problem focused diagnosis, risk diagnosis, health promotion diagnosis, and syndrome. Problem focused diagnoses, also known as actual diagnoses, are patient issues or problems that are present and observable during the assessment phase.

What are the 5 types of nursing diagnosis? ›

There are five types of nursing diagnoses: problem-focused, risk, possible, health promotion, and syndrome. A problem-focused nursing diagnosis “describes human responses to health conditions/life processes that exist in an individual, family, or community.

How do you write a good nursing diagnosis? ›

Nursing diagnoses must include the problem and its definition, the etiology of the problem, and the defining characteristics or risk factors of the problem. The problem statement explains the patient's current health problem and the nursing interventions needed to care for the patient.

What signs are likely to indicate breathing distress? ›

Signs of Respiratory Distress
  • Breathing rate. An increase in the number of breaths per minute may mean that a person is having trouble breathing or not getting enough oxygen.
  • Color changes. ...
  • Grunting. ...
  • Nose flaring. ...
  • Retractions. ...
  • Sweating. ...
  • Wheezing. ...
  • Body position.

What are 4 symptoms of respiratory disease? ›

Ans: The symptoms of respiratory diseases can vary depending on the specific disease, but some common symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, fatigue, and fever.

What are the 3 most common respiratory diseases? ›

Some of the most common chronic respiratory diseases are asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and occupational lung diseases.

What are two signs of inadequate breathing? ›

Symptoms of breathlessness can include:
  • difficulty catching your breath.
  • noisy breathing.
  • very fast, shallow breaths.
  • an increase in your pulse rate.
  • wheezing.
  • chest pain.
  • skin that looks pale and slightly blue, especially around your mouth.
  • cold, clammy skin.

What is the best position for difficulty breathing nursing? ›

With numerous applications, Fowler's position is used for patients who have difficulty breathing because, in this position, gravity pulls the diaphragm downward allowing greater chest and lung expansion.

What to do if patient complains of shortness of breath? ›

If someone is having breathing difficulty, call 911 or your local emergency number right away, then: Check the person's airway, breathing, and pulse. If necessary, begin CPR.

How do you nurse a patient with difficulty breathing? ›

Nursing interventions and rationales
  1. Place patient with proper body alignment for maximum breathing pattern. ...
  2. Encourage sustained deep breaths. ...
  3. Encourage diaphragmatic breathing for patients with chronic disease. ...
  4. Evaluate the appropriateness of inspiratory muscle training.
Apr 20, 2023

What should a nurse do when a patient has chest pain and shortness of breath? ›

Nursing Management
  1. Manage chest pain.
  2. Bed rest.
  3. Provide oxygen.
  4. Administer aspirin and nitroglycerin.
  5. Place patient with head of the bed elevated at 45 degrees.
  6. Make patient comfortable.
  7. Hook up to monitor.
  8. Check vitals.

What is the first nursing action for dyspnea? ›

Dyspnoea can be very frightening for patients and may result in increased anxiety, causing them to become more breathless. Nursing intervention can break this cycle. Allowing time with breathless patients, talking calmly to them and instructing them to breathe slowly, and breathing with them, can be highly effective.

What is the first thing the nurse can do to assist a client in respiratory distress? ›

Put the client in a 45-degree or 90-degree sitting position, and turn your client every hour to make sure that the fluid inside the lungs is not stagnant in one place. This will give parts of the lungs to breathe. Moving the client will also facilitate drainage as steroids are provided.

Which position is most appropriate for a patient who has difficulty breathing? ›

Prone positioning is generally used for patients who require a ventilator (breathing machine). Prone positioning may be beneficial for several reasons: (1) In the supine position, the lungs are compressed by the heart and abdominal organs.

How do you triage shortness of breath? ›

Ask these questions at triage
  1. How long have you been short of breath? ...
  2. Do you have heart or lung problems? ...
  3. Have you been in the hospital before for this?
  4. What medications do you take?
  5. Does the shortness of breath get worse when you do any physical activity?


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