Fatigue Nursing Care Plans


Use this guide to help you formulate nursing interventions for fatigue nursing care plan and nursing diagnosis

Almost everybody is overtired or overworked from time to time. Words like lethargic, exhausted, tired and even ‘fatigue’ are always used when a symptom is difficult for the patient to describe.

Fatigue is a subjective complaint with both acute and chronic conditions. It is the self-recognized state in which an individual experiences an overwhelming sustained sense of exhaustion and decreased capacity for physical and mental work that is not relieved by rest. However, it is important to know that fatigue is not the same as tiredness. Tiredness is temporary. Fatigue is associated with a variety of physical and psychological conditions.

Nursing Assessment for Fatigue

Assessment is required in order to identify potential problems that may have lead to Fatigue as well as name any episode that may happen during nursing care.

Evaluate the patient’s description of fatigue: severity, changes in severity over time, aggregating factors or alleviating factors.Using an appropriate quantitative scoring scale, 1 to 10 for example, can aid the patient to formulate the amount of fatigue experienced. Further scoring scales can be developed by using pictures or descriptive language. This system allows the nurse to weigh against changes in the patient’s fatigue level over time. It is important to conclude if the patient’s level of fatigue is constant or if it varies over time.
Determine possible causes of fatigue, such as:


  • Last physical illness
  • Pain
  • Emotional stress
  • Depression
  • Side effects of medication
  • Anemia
  • Sleep disorders
  • Imbalanced nutritional intake
  • Extended responsibilities and demands at home or work
Identifying the related factors with fatigue can benefit in recognizing potential causes and building a collaborative plan of care.
Assess the patient’s ability to perform ADLs, instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), and demands of daily living (DDLs).Fatigue can restrict the patient’s ability to participate in self-care and do his or her role responsibilities in the family and society, such as working outside the home.
Assess the patient’s nutritional ingestion for adequate energy sources and metabolic demands.Fatigue may be a symptom of protein-calorie malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies, or iron deficiencies.
Evaluate the patient’s outlook for fatigue relief, eagerness to participate in strategies to reduce fatigue, and level of family and social support.These will promote active participation in planning, implementing, and evaluating therapeutic management to alleviate fatigue. Social support will be essential to assist the patient put into practice changes to decrease fatigue.
Review results of laboratory or diagnostic test:


  • Blood glucose
  • Hemoglobin/hematocrit
  • BUN
  • Oxygen saturation, resting and with activity
Changes in these physiological measures may be associated with other measurement data to recognize possible sources of the patient’s fatigue.
Observe physiological reaction to activities such as any alterations in BP, respiratory rate, or heart rate.Tolerance varies significantly, depending on the phase of the disease progression, nutrition condition, fluid balance, and quantity or sort of opportunistic diseases that patient has been subjected to.
Assess the patient’s typical level of exercise and physical movement.Increased physical exertion and inadequate levels of exercise can add to fatigue.
Assess the patient’s sleep patterns for quality, quantity, time taken to fall asleep and feeling upon awakening and observe alteration in thought processes or behaviors.Changes in the patient’s sleep pattern may be a contributing factor in the development of fatigue. Numerous factors can exacerbate fatigue, together with sleep deprivation, emotional distress, side effects of drugs, and progressing CNS disease.
Assess the patient’s routine recommendation and over-the-counter drugs.Fatigue may be a medication side effect or an indication od a drug interaction. The nurse must perform particular notice to the patient’s utilization of beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, tranquilizers, alcohol, muscle relaxants, and sedatives.
Assess the patient’s emotional reaction to fatigue.The common emotional responses associated with fatigue are anxiety and depression. These emotional conditions can increase the person’s fatigue level and produces a vicious cycle.

Nursing Interventions for Fatigue

The following are the therapeutic nursing interventions for Fatigue:

Restrict environmental stimuli, especially during planned times for rest and sleep.Vivid lighting, noise, visitors, numerous distractions, and litter in the patient’s physical surroundings can limit relaxation, disturb rest or sleep, and contribute to fatigue.
Encourage the patient to maintain a 24-hour fatigue or activity log for at least 1 week.Recognizing relationships between specific activities and levels of fatigue can aid the patient recognize unnecessary energy outflow. The log may indicate times of day when the person feels the least fatigued. This information can help the patient make choices about setting his or her activities to take advantage of episodes of high energy levels.
Implement the use of assistive devices for ADLs and IADLs:


  • Long-handled sponge for bathing
  • Long shoehorn
  • Sock-puller
  • Long-handled grabber
Utilization of such devices can lessen energy expenditure and prevent injury with activities.
Aid the patient with developing a schedule for daily activity and rest. Emphasize the importance of frequent rest periods.A plan that balances periods of activity with periods of rest can aid the patient complete preferred activities without contributing to levels of fatigue.
Teach energy conservation methods. Collaborate with occupational therapist as needed.Patients and caregivers may need to learn skills for delegating tasks to others, setting priorities, and clustering care to use available energy to complete desired activities. Organization and time management can help the patient conserve energy and reduce fatigue. The occupational therapist can offer the patient with assistive devices and educate the patient energy conservation methods.
Assist the patient with setting priorities for preferred activities and role responsibilities.Setting priorities is one sort of an energy conservation method that permits the patient to utilize available energy to complete important activities. Attaining desired goals can develop the patient’s mood and sense of emotional health.
Promote sufficient nutritional intake.The patient will need properly balanced intake of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals to provide energy resources.
Encourage an exercise conditioning program as appropriate.Fatigue caused by deconditioning and prolonged bed rest can be reduced through improved functional capacity using aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise.
Provide comfort such as judicious touch or massage, and cool showers.These may reduce nervous energy that lead to relaxation.
Encourage verbalization of feelings about the impact of fatigue.Acknowledgement that living with fatigue is both physically and emotionally challenging helps in coping.
Offer diversional activities that are soothing.This method allows the use of nervous energy in a positive manner and may lessen anxiety.
Identify energy conservation methods such as sitting and dividing ADLs into convenient segments. Assist with movement or self-care demands as appropriate.Weakness can make ADLs almost not possible for patient to finish. Being with the patient prevents the patient from getting harm during activities.
Set practical activity goals with patient.This offers a sense of control and feelings of achievement.
Stay away from topics that annoy or disturb patient. Converse ways to react to these feelings.Increased irritability of the CNS can make the patient become easily excited, agitated, and prone to emotional outburst.
Educate the patient and family about task organization methods and time organization methods.Organization and management of time can assist the patient save energy and avoid fatigue.
Support the patient in escalating levels of physical activity and exercise.Exercise can reduce fatigue and assist the patient build stamina for physical activity.
Make the patient aware about the signs and symptoms of overexertion with activity.Changes in heart rate, oxygen saturation, and respiratory rate will reflect the patient’s tolerance for activity.
Aid the patient develop habits to promote effective rest/sleep patterns.Promoting relaxation before sleep and providing for several hours of uninterrupted sleep can contribute to energy restoration.

Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

Disclosure: Included below are affiliate links from Amazon at no additional cost from you. We may earn a small commission from your purchase. For more information, check out our privacy policy.

NANDA International Nursing Diagnoses: Definitions & Classification, 2021-2023
The definitive guide to nursing diagnoses as reviewed and approved by the NANDA International. In this new version of a pioneering text, all introductory chapters have been rewritten to provide nurses with the essential information they need to comprehend assessment, its relationship to diagnosis and clinical reasoning, and the purpose and application of taxonomic organization at the bedside. A total of 46 new nursing diagnoses and 67 amended nursing diagnostics are presented.

Ackley and Ladwig’s Nursing Diagnosis Handbook: An Evidence-Based Guide to Planning Care
We love this book because of it’s evidence-based approach to nursing interventions. This care plan handbook uses an easy, three-step system to guide you through client assessment, nursing diagnosis, and care planning. Includes step-by-step instructions show how to implement care and evaluate outcomes, and help you build skills in diagnostic reasoning and critical thinking.

Nursing Care Plans – Nursing Diagnosis & Intervention (10th Edition)
Includes over two hundred care plans that reflect the most recent evidence-based guidelines. New to this edition are ICNP diagnoses, care plans on LGBTQ health issues and on electrolytes and acid-base balance.

Nurse’s Pocket Guide: Diagnoses, Prioritized Interventions, and Rationales
Quick-reference tool includes all you need to identify the correct diagnoses for efficient patient care planning. The sixteenth edition includes the most recent nursing diagnoses and interventions from NANDA-I 2021-2023 and an alphabetized listing of nursing diagnoses covering more than 400 disorders.

Nursing Diagnosis Manual: Planning, Individualizing, and Documenting Client Care 
Identify interventions to plan, individualize, and document care for more than 800 diseases and disorders. Only in the Nursing Diagnosis Manual will you find for each diagnosis…. subjectively and objectively – sample clinical applications, prioritized action/interventions with rationales – a documentation section, and much more!

All-in-One Nursing Care Planning Resource – E-Book: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Maternity, and Psychiatric-Mental Health 
Includes over 100 care plans for medical-surgical, maternity/OB, pediatrics, and psychiatric and mental health. Interprofessional “patient problems” focus familiarizes you with how to speak to patients.

See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:


Gil Wayne graduated in 2008 with a bachelor of science in nursing. He earned his license to practice as a registered nurse during the same year. His drive for educating people stemmed from working as a community health nurse. He conducted first aid training and health seminars and workshops for teachers, community members, and local groups. Wanting to reach a bigger audience in teaching, he is now a writer and contributor for Nurseslabs since 2012 while working part-time as a nurse instructor. His goal is to expand his horizon in nursing-related topics. He wants to guide the next generation of nurses to achieve their goals and empower the nursing profession.
Share to...