Nursing Process and Care Delivery

Nursing Process and Care Delivery


The UK Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) emphasizes person-centered care, which means prioritizing the individual needs and preferences of each patient. While there are times when attending to multiple patients simultaneously might be necessary, it’s crucial to ensure safe and effective care delivery for each individual.

In the context of the NMC and the nursing process, focusing on one patient at a time during each stage is generally recommended:

  1. Assessment:
  • Gathering accurate and comprehensive information about a single patient’s mobility, height, weight, skin integrity, medications, current risks, and fall risk is essential for developing a personalized care plan.
  • Multitasking during assessment can lead to missed details or errors, potentially compromising patient safety.
  1. Planning:
  • Developing a tailored care plan based on the individual patient’s assessment findings requires focused attention.
  • Juggling multiple plans simultaneously can increase the risk of oversights or inconsistencies, impacting care quality.
  1. Implementation:
  • Providing safe and effective interventions like medication administration or wound care demands dedicated attention to the specific patient’s needs.
  • Switching between tasks can lead to increased error risk and potential harm.
  1. Evaluation:
  • Monitoring the patient’s response to interventions and evaluating the effectiveness of the care plan requires focused observation and analysis.
  • Multitasking can hinder accurate evaluation and delay necessary adjustments to the care plan.

However, there are situations where attending to multiple patients simultaneously might be necessary:

  • Urgent situations: In emergencies or critical care settings, prioritizing immediate interventions for multiple patients might be necessary.
  • Delegation: Nurses can delegate specific tasks to appropriately trained healthcare assistants or colleagues, allowing them to focus on more complex aspects of care for individual patients.
  • Teamwork: Collaboration with other healthcare professionals can facilitate efficient care delivery for multiple patients while ensuring individual needs are addressed.

The key takeaway:

  • While the NMC emphasizes person-centered care, judgment and flexibility are crucial in determining the best approach for each situation.
  • Prioritizing the safety and well-being of each individual patient should always be the guiding principle.
  • When attending to multiple patients, safe practices and effective communication are essential to ensure quality care for all.

Remember, the NMC Code states that nurses and midwives must “provide care and treatment in a way that is safe, effective and kind.” This principle applies regardless of the number of patients being cared for at any given time.

You’re correct that the nursing process and care delivery should be individualised for each patient. However, the UK NMC doesn’t mandate that nurses only attend to one patient at a time. While prioritizing and focusing on one patient’s immediate needs is crucial, nurses often manage multiple patients simultaneously, ensuring quality care for all.

Here’s how the points align with the UK NMC standards and ethical considerations:

  1. Assessment:
  • Individualized: The NMC’s “Future Nurse: Standards of Proficiency” document emphasizes individualised care, requiring nurses to “assess and plan care specific to the needs of the person” (p. 10). This includes mobility, height, weight, skin integrity, medications, current risks, and fall risk assessment.
  • Holistic: Consider assessing not just physical aspects but also psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual needs.
  • Documentation: Document assessments clearly and concisely in the patient’s record, using the NMC’s “Code” principles (Communication, Respect, Dignity, and Equality).
  1. Planning:
  • Collaborative: Involve the patient and other healthcare professionals in planning care whenever possible, respecting individual preferences and autonomy (NMC “Code”).
  • SMART goals: Set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals for interventions and desired outcomes.
  • Evidence-based: Base care plans on current evidence and best practices, aligning with NMC guidance and NICE guidelines.
  • Prioritization: Prioritize interventions based on urgency and potential impact on the patient’s well-being.
  1. Implementation:
  • Safe and competent: Ensure all interventions are performed safely and competently, following the NMC’s “Code” and relevant protocols.
  • Consent: Obtain informed consent for all care, explaining procedures and risks clearly.
  • Effective communication: Communicate effectively with the patient, their family, and other healthcare professionals.
  1. Evaluation:
  • Regular and ongoing: Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of care and revise the plan as needed.
  • Outcome-focused: Focus on the desired outcomes identified in the care plan.
  • Patient feedback: Encourage and incorporate patient feedback during evaluation.

NMC Standards and Ethical Considerations:

  • Standards: The NMC’s “Code” and “Future Nurse” document provide ethical and professional standards for nurses, emphasizing individualised, safe, and effective care.
  • Prioritization: While focusing on one patient’s immediate needs is crucial, nurses prioritize effectively to provide quality care to multiple patients. Delegation, teamwork, and time management skills are essential.
  • Duty of care: Nurses have a duty of care to all their patients, even when managing multiple cases. Prioritization and resource allocation should ensure no patient’s safety or well-being is compromised.

Remember, the NMC’s resources are valuable for understanding the ethical and professional expectations for nurses in the UK.


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