5 Influenza (Flu) Nursing Care Plans

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Influenza (also known as flu, or grippe) is an acute inflammation of the nasopharynx, trachea, and bronchioles, with congestion, edema, and the possibility of necrosis of these respiratory structures. Influenza is a highly contagious infection of the respiratory tract caused by three different types of Myxovirus influenzae. It occurs sporadically or in epidemics which peaks usually during colder months.

Nursing Care Plans

Unless complications occur, influenza doesn’t require hospitalization and patient care usually focuses on the relief of symptoms.

Here are six (5) nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis (NDx) for Influenza (Flu):

  1. Ineffective Airway Clearance
  2. Ineffective Breathing Pattern
  3. Hyperthermia
  4. Acute Pain
  5. Deficient Knowledge
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Deficient Knowledge

Nursing Diagnosis

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May be related to

  • Lack of knowledge about the disease process (Influenza)
  • Inability to avoid complications
  • Recurrence of disease

Possibly evidenced by

  • Verbalization of misconceptions, questions about the disease
  • Request for information
  • Presence of avoidable complications

Desired Outcomes

  • Patient will be able to understand and verbalize appropriate treatment and care for influenza.
  • Patient and/or SO will be able to accurately verbalize understanding of the influenza disease and methods to use to avoid contracting the illness.
  • Patient and/or SO will be able to notify the physician immediately during flu season if the patient begins to have symptoms of influenza in order to be treated with antivirals.
  • Patient will suffer no complications, such as pneumonia, requiring hospitalization.
  • Patient will be compliant with obtaining annual influenza vaccination.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
Assess patient’s understanding of disease process. Patient may have misconceptions about the disease that should be corrected. Identifying baseline knowledge helps to facilitate and establish a plan of care for patient and family education.
Ensure that the patient is willing and able to listen to information about the disease. Patient may be in too much pain or too ill to understand and comprehend information. If the patient is unwilling to listen to information, accept the decision, which will help to facilitate acceptance of right as a patient to choose the level of self-participation in care.
Use limited amounts of time for teaching, with the provision of a quiet environment. Helps the elderly patient to remember information being discussed without distracting stimuli. Limiting sessions of instruction helps to avoid overstimulation and overload.
Educate about influenza immunizations. For high-risk patients and healthcare personnel, suggest annual inoculations at the start of the flu season. Note that some vaccines are made from a chicken embryo and should not be given to people who are hypersensitive to eggs. Vaccine administered is based on the previous year’s virus and is usually about 75% effective.
Inform people receiving the vaccine of the possible adverse effects and report them immediately. Adverse effects include discomfort at the vaccination site, fever, malaise, and rarely, Guillain-Barre syndrome. Recommend the inactivated variant of the vaccine to women who are pregnant and who will be in the second or third trimester during influenza season.
Teach the proper disposal of tissues and proper hand-washing technique. To prevent the virus from spreading.
Use appropriate teaching aids for the patient’s abilities. Teaching aids such as written in large font for the impaired patient, and so forth helps to provide information in a manner that will be more easily understood by the patient and remembered. Normal aging changes may cause memory loss, sensory deficits, and the need for slower, more repetitive teaching.
Instruct patient and/or SO about influenza types, when typical outbreaks occur, and methods to avoid infection. Influenza occurs every year, normally from November through April, and the virus is spread via direct contact or aerosol droplets.Elder people usually have other disease processes, are especially prone to infection and should avoid others who have upper respiratory symptoms when possible.
Instruct patient and/or SO that those who are at risk for influenza should always be immunized with the flu vaccine. Vaccination should be given around October prior to the start of the outbreak of influenza season but can be given throughout this time until late winter. Prevention of influenza is considered optimal in order to prevent complications, such as pneumonia.
Instruct patient and/or SO about newer antiviral drugs, their effects, when to seek immediate medical attention, and side effects of medications. Caution should be used if patients have other respiratory diseases or renal insufficiency.Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) and Relenza (zanamivir) are effective for influenza types A and B. Rimantadine and amantadine are effective for influenza A. These drugs are given within 48 hours of onset of symptoms for maximum efficacy.

Patients should be also be advised these drugs are not replacement for their annual vaccination.

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See Also

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Communicable and Infectious Diseases Care Plans


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Respiratory Care Plans

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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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