How Do You Write A Case Study In Nursing

Lots of non-nursing students have the mistaken notion that nursing students do not have to write a lot. After all, they spend their time in biology and chemistry labs and do field experiences. Actually, there is a long history of writing for such students:

  • They must learn how to write a nursing entrance essay, because no one can get into nursing school without one. They often struggle with these, do some research and look for tips on writing a nursing school admission essay.
  • If these students are looking of financial aid, the may indeed have to compose an amazing nursing scholarship essay
  • Many courses in medical fields require essays, research papers, lab reports and more. And many of them are really challenging because they are all on scientific topics and often involve some lab research. A typical medical school essay, for example will involve research of existing literature and the setting up of a study based upon that literature.

Writing a Nursing Essay

Nursing students will find that a basic essay assignment will have the same structure as essays they have written for non-medical courses – introduction, body, and conclusion. The one thing that may differ in the essay writing process may be the formatting. It is common for Harvard formatting to be required in medical programs, so students will want to research Harvard strategies for essay writing. The “rules” are definitely a bit different.

The other caveat in all of this is that medical students’ essays do regularly involve some lab research that the student has conducted. In these cases, the conclusion will be a bit different from that of another type of essay. Often, the conclusion must speak to the significance of the results of a study. Learning how to write a conclusion for a nursing essay can be a bit challenging and will take some practice.

Writing That Nursing Case Study Essay

It is inevitable. As nursing students move into their upper level coursework, they will be spending far more time in hospitals completing lots of field experience. And there is coursework associated with those practicums. Part of that coursework will involve one or more case study essays. These are different from any other writing assignments you have had in the past. Let’s look at how a case study is structured – while specific department guidelines may vary a bit, the elements will be common.

What is a Case Study?

A nursing case study is an in-depth study of a patient that is encountered during the student’s daily practice in a practicum. They are important learning experiences because the student can apply classroom/theoretical learning to an actual situation and perhaps make some conclusions and recommendations. It will require lots of planning of methodology, literature reviews, and careful documentation as the case study proceeds.

Sections of a Case Study

There are three large sections – Information about the Patient; The Nurse’s Assessment of the Patient’s Status; and the Treatment Plan, along with Recommendations. Within each large section there are sub-sections.

Section 1 – Patient Status

This section includes demographic information, the patient’s medical history, and the current patient’s diagnosis, condition, and treatment.

Here you will obviously speak about the patient – and you will commit all of this information to writing. Do not rely on your memory – write everything down. You will also need to explain why the information is important to include in your study. You will need to include the reasons why the patient sought medical care and make note of the first symptoms the patient experienced. Next, you will identify the subsequent diagnosis that was made.

Given the diagnosis, what is the process/progression of the disease? You should include its causes, the symptoms, what you have observed. Describe what your role as a nurse will be.  

Section 2 – Nursing Assessment

You will need to prepare your own assessment of the patient’s condition. And as you produce that assessment, be certain to explain why you have made each assessment. For example, suppose a patient has a diagnosis of cancer. One of the symptom presentations is difficulty in urination. You will need to document that urination issue and suggest potential causes of it. Then you will need to come up with options for treatment based upon the potential causes. And, in this case, how will you determine the cause of the issue?

Section 3 – The Current Treatment and Recommendations for Improving It

Describe the treatment – medication, therapy, etc. and explain why each treatment is appropriate for the disease. You will also need to discuss how the treatment plan is improving the patient’s quality of life.

What are the treatment goals? What are the benchmarks for assessing success and how, specifically, will it be documented?

The Implementation and Documentation

Once the treatment has been implemented, it will be your job to document each treatment activity – time, dose, etc. – and then track the improvement that does or does not occur. Suppose, for example, that you begin a regimen of a diuretic for your cancer patient. How will you determine success? How long will you implement the treatment to determine success or not? And if it is not successful, what is your next treatment option?

The data you gather must be carefully recorded and then reported in this section of your case study. This is the same as any scientific study. You must also analyze the data before you make decisions about the efficacy of the treatment plan and come to conclusions.

Toward the end of this section, you will be making recommendations – they may be simply to continue the current treatment plan; you may have conducted some research that shows another or an additional treatment plan is warranted. In this case, you may very well recommend this new treatment plan. Just remember, you must justify any recommendation you make, and usually this comes from medical research literature.

Crafting a nursing case study really has two major tasks.

  • First, you select a patient, and begin to collect history. You also set up treatment plans and collect data to determine the efficacy of the plan and then determine your recommendations.
  • Second, you actually have to write up the final piece. And it must be impeccably written.

If you have concerns about your writing skills, consider finding an essay writing service nursing department. While there are lots of writing services out there, you want one that has a specific group of researchers and writers with experience in producing medical case studies. You may even find a specific nursing essay writing service UK that exists only for helping medical program students. Such experts will be familiar with the style, tone, formatting, and terminology and can make quick work of your write-up.

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A nursing case study is a  written record to be used as a guide and caring for the patient.  A case study is a written document concerning a patient, pertinent facts such as age, condition of the patient at the time of the latest incident or disease symptoms, etc. It begins with a plan,  a pre-arranged set of specifics that will, most often, be from a template. The template will guide the nurse in how to be inclusive and what to look for, questions to ask, and how to care for the patient, and what to expect as a prognosis.

Generally, a care plan will begin with an introduction of the patient, the type of plan that is being written, the goal of the document. It’s simplicity, or its complexity, will depend on the nursing setting. Is this a care plan being written by a professional for a presentation to a group of students as a learning tool, or is it a basic care plan that all can follow from day to day as they go about tending to the needs of the patient, or is it intended as evidence that will presented in a courtroom?

Therefore, after the type of care plan has been decided upon, what next? It must be implemented, that is, it must be written. Possibly an instructor is teaching a class and the assignment is on how to write nursing care plans. These are varied. They may concern a real patient that the students are familiar with, a fictional list of patients, or it may concern a varied list of medical conditions and the students are to fill in the details and write a general care plan around each condition.

Real situations where care plans are, or should be mandatory, are home health care, public health nursing, and in all situations where the care is done without the immediate supervision, or near contact, of others who may be available for help and advice. Situations where traveling with a patient, caring for them in hotels, on cruises, and in settings outside of the institution, will need written instructions and notes on care.  Records and care plans may be needed and are necessary as part of the plan for the patient, as well as protection for the caregiver, in all nursing situations.

Once the overall plan has been decided upon, it will be carefully evaluated. If it is for a student assignment, it will be read over, corrected for its grammar, its clarity, but most of all, for its content. Is it inclusive? Does it take in all aspects of the patient, their needs, their prior symptoms, the type of medical treatment sought previously to this present need for care, and overall, what is the expected outcome?

Where are case studies most often found? They are common in nursing schools and in teaching situations as an essay type document that stimulates thoughts and care for a particular diseased entity. They are designed to stimulate students to critical thinking, and to show them how to observe a patient, and what symptoms to watch out for out, and how to report these symptoms.

To make writing these care plans easier, it is best to follow an outline so that nothing will be left out. One online nursing education site recommended these five steps: Assessment, nursing problems or requirements, goals of care, how to begin the care, determination if the goals have been met.

Assessment will take in all aspects of the immediate care of the patient, their symptoms, their doctor’s orders, their laboratory findings, their history, their family’s disease history, their personal needs, their personality and how easy or how difficult it is to work with them. Their nutritional needs, the effects of the physical examination, how their general health is, and how well they communicate and how much care they can give themselves, is all part of the plan of care.  In other words, how much help will they need.

Nursing problems or the exact reason they are being cared for, is the core of the plan.  The incidents leading up to the present outcome, when did the symptoms start, what were the preliminary treatments, if any, and what led them to this particular hospital, clinic, nursing home, or whatever. What is the expected outcome?

Goals of care will specifically relate to what has been done, what is being done, and how well these treatment options are working. If they are seen as inadequate, then what are the suggested ways they can be improved upon. Steps four and five will be the actual beginning of the care plan and description and facts of how it is being carried out will be next, and after that, the goals and expectations that initiated the care plan, have they been met?

Typically, nursing care plans are tools of the nursing profession, and they are most often used in teaching situations. Yet, basically , in a more random form they are part of every patient’s chart. The difference is in the type of information needed: the write up about the reason for hospital admittance, the medical problem, the doctor’s order, the method of treatment, general notes on the condition of the patient are noted on a daily basis, and whatever else is needed.

The chart, as well as information from the patient, and the assessment by the nurse will be the source of most of the information that make up a care plan. Basically, in some form, care plans are necessary since so many varied individuals care for a patient. They must have some way of quickly assessing the problem, following through with the plan of care, and getting the patient the treatment needed.

Similar Reading:

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