Why Should A Care Plan Be In Place?
It is essential that a care plan be in place to assure that the patient receives the appropriate care. A nursing care plan for diabetes insures that the doctor’s orders for a particular patient is followed and that if any special diabetic care is needed that a plan is in place to address such issues. A care plan will benefit the patient in maintaining their comfort and prevent common side effects that often occur with diabetes.
What Should the Nursing Care Plan Consist of?
The nursing care plan for diabetes should consist of the following aspects. It is important to note that there may be times that the plan may change depending on doctor’s orders.
The nurse should closely monitor the patient. Ongoing monitoring of blood glucose levels is crucial. Doing so would let the nurse know if the levels are too high or too low so that they can take the appropriate action depending on the levels. The vital signs should also be monitored closely. Is the patient’s blood pressure too high or low? Does the patient have a temperature? The answer to these questions will determine what course, if any, need to be taken for the well being of the patient. Skin and foot care test should be done to see if any breakdown of the skin and to assure that the feet are getting enough circulation. Monitoring the mental status of the patient is important too. The information that the caregiver gathers during their observation of the patient is important to the patient care.
Assist the patient to maintain their diet. Communicating with the patient is very important here. If the doctor has ordered a special diet, then the caregiver should explain to the patient why it is important to maintain the special diet. The caregiver should also assure that the patient be directed to a dietitian.
Medications should be administered as prescribed. The medication may be prescribed by the doctor to be taken by injection or orally. Not all diabetics are insulin dependent diabetics. Sometimes other type of medication is prescribed to help maintain diabetes. The nursing care plan for diabetes should include carefully carrying out the doctor’s orders and charting all medications that are given.
Educate the patient in accordance with the doctor’s orders. A patient may need to be shown how to administer his or her own insulin shots. They also may need to be educated on the special skin and cueing needs of a diabetic. It also may be important to discuss an exercise routine if they physician feels that the patient needs this. The family and or caregivers may also need to be educated in these areas.
Continue to observe the patient for signs and symptoms. This is very important in the nursing care plan for diabetes. Signs to look for would be blurred vision, excessive thirst, slurred speech, frequent urination, mental alertness and is the patient lethargic. These are common symptoms to monitor in a diabetic patient. Changes in any of these areas could indicate that emergency measures may need to be taken. The caregiver needs to be alert to these signs and be prepared to treat the patient’s symptoms.
On an Important Note
It is important to mention that the nursing care plan for diabetes may differ from patient to patient. There are several types of diabetes. That is why it is essential to incorporate the doctor’s orders into the plan to assure that the individual medical needs of the patient are met.
Susan S. Braithwaite, MD, FACE, FACP, is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina Diabetes Care Center in Durham, N.C. https://spectrum.diabetesjournals.org/content/18/1/20.full
Diabetes Medical Management Plan/ Florida Governor’s Diabetes Advisory Council https://www.doh.state.fl.us/chdhernando/docfiles/school_health/diabetes_care_%20plan_part_1.pdf