3 Lymphoma Nursing Care Plans


Lymphoma is a form of cancer that affects the immune system – specifically, it is a cancer of immune cells called lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. It includes distinct entities defined by clinical, histologic, immunologic, molecular, and genetic characteristics. Based on histologic characteristics, lymphomas are divided into two major subgroups: Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Nursing Care Plans

Below are three nursing care plans and nursing diagnosis for patients with Lymphomas.

  1. Sexual Dysfunction
  2. Ineffective Breathing Pattern
  3. Deficient Knowledge
  4. Other Possible Nursing Care Plans

Risk for Ineffective Breathing Pattern

Nursing Diagnosis

Risk factors may include

  • Tracheobronchial obstruction: enlarged mediastinal nodes and/or airway edema (Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s); superior vena cava syndrome (non-Hodgkin’s)

Possibly evidenced by

  • Not applicable. Existence of signs and symptoms establishes an actual nursing diagnosis.

Desired Outcomes

  • Maintain a normal/effective respiratory pattern, free of dyspnea, cyanosis, or other signs of respiratory distress.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess and monitor respiratory rate, depth, rhythm. Note reports of dyspnea and use of accessory muscles, nasal flaring, altered chest excursion.Changes (such as tachypnea, dyspnea, use of accessory muscles) may indicate progression of respiratory involvement and compromise requiring prompt intervention.
Place patient in position of comfort, usually with head of bed elevated or sitting upright leaning forward (weight supported on arms), feet dangling.Maximizes lung expansion, decreases work of breathing, and reduces risk of aspiration.
Reposition and assist with turning periodically.Promotes aeration of all lung segments and mobilizes secretions.
Instruct and assist with deep-breathing techniques, pursed-lip or abdominal diaphragmatic breathing if indicated.Helps promote gas diffusion and expansion of small airways. Provides patient with some control over respiration, helping to reduce anxiety.
Monitor and evaluate skin color, noting pallor, development of cyanosis (particularly in nailbeds, ear lobes, and lips).Proliferation of WBCs can reduce oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood, leading to hypoxemia.
Assess respiratory response to activity. Note reports of dyspnea or ”air hunger,” increased fatigue. Schedule rest periods between activities.Decreased cellular oxygenation reduces activity tolerance. Rest reduces oxygen demands and minimizes fatigue and dyspnea.
Identify and encourage energy-saving techniques (rest periods before and after meals, use of shower chair, sitting for care).Aids in reducing fatigue and dyspnea, and conserves energy for cellular regeneration and respiratory function.
Promote bedrest and provide care as indicated during acute and prolonged exacerbation.Worsening respiratory involvement and hypoxia may necessitate cessation of activity to prevent more serious respiratory compromise.
Encourage expression of feelings. Acknowledge reality of situation and normality of feelings.Anxiety increases oxygen demand, and hypoxemia potentiates respiratory distress and cardiac symptoms, which in turn escalates anxiety.
Provide calm, quiet environment.Promotes relaxation, conserving energy and reducing oxygen demand.
Observe for neck vein distension, headache, dizziness, periorbital and facial edema, dyspnea, and stridor.Non-Hodgkin’s patients are at risk for superior vena cava syndrome, which may result in tracheal deviation and airway obstruction, representing an oncologic emergency.
Provide support to family and caregivers. Encourage open expression of feelings.Development of this complication is very frightening for patient and family because it may indicate end-stage of disease process and approaching death, especially in the hospice setting. Keeping family informed may diminish their anxiety and minimize transmission to patient.
Provide supplemental oxygen.Maximizes oxygen available for circulatory uptake; aids in reducing hypoxemia.
Monitor laboratory studies (ABGs, oximetry).Measures adequacy of respiratory function and effectiveness of therapy.
Administer analgesics and tranquilizers as indicated.Reducing physiological responses to pain and anxiety decreases oxygen demands and may limit respiratory compromise.
Assist with respiratory treatments or adjuncts, (IPPB, incentive spirometer) if appropriate.Promotes maximal aeration of all lung segments, preventing atelectasis.
Assist with intubation and mechanical ventilation.May be necessary to support respiratory function until airway edema is resolved in acutely ill hospitalized patient.
Prepare for emergency radiation therapy when indicated.Treatment of choice for superior vena cava syndrome.

Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:


Other care plans for hematologic and lymphatic system disorders:

Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.
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