11 Pneumonia Nursing Care Plans

All you need to know about pneumonia nursing care plans.

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In this guide are pneumonia nursing care plans and nursing diagnosis, nursing interventions and nursing assessment for pneumonia. Nursing interventions for pneumonia and care plan goals for patients with pneumonia include measures to assist in effective coughing, maintain a patent airway, decreasing viscosity and tenaciousness of secretions, and assist in suctioning.

Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lung parenchyma, associated with alveolar edema and congestion that impair gas exchange. Pneumonia is caused by a bacterial or viral infection that is spread by droplets or by contact and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

The prognosis is typically good for people who have normal lungs and adequate host defenses before the onset of pneumonia. Pneumonia is a particular concern in high-risk patients: persons who are very young or very old, people who smoke, bedridden, malnourished, hospitalized, immunocompromised, or exposed to MRSA.

Types of Pneumonia

There are two types of pneumonia: community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), or hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) or also known as nosocomial pneumonia.

Pneumonia may also be classified depending on its location and radiologic appearance. Bronchopneumonia (bronchial pneumonia) involves the terminal bronchioles and alveoli. Interstitial (reticular) pneumonia involves inflammatory response within lung tissue surrounding the air spaces or vascular structures rather than the area passages themselves. Alveolar (or acinar) pneumonia involves fluid accumulation in the lung’s distal air spaces. Necrotizing pneumonia causes the death of a portion of lung tissue surrounded by a viable tissue.

Pneumonia is also classified based on its microbiologic etiology – they can be viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan, mycobacterial, mycoplasmal, or rickettsial in origin.

Aspiration pneumonia, another type of pneumonia, results from vomiting and aspiration of gastric or oropharyngeal contents into the trachea and lungs.

Signs and Symptoms

The main symptoms of pneumonia are coughing, sputum production, pleuritic chest pain, shaking chills, rapid shallow breathing, fever, and shortness of breath. If left untreated, pneumonia could complicate to hypoxemia, respiratory failure, pleural effusion, empyema, lung abscess, and bacteremia.

Nursing care plan (NCP) and care management for patients with pneumonia start with an assessment of the patient’ medical history, performing respiratory assessment every four (4) hours, physical examination, and ABG measurements. Supportive interventions include oxygen therapy, suctioning, coughing, deep breathing, adequate hydration, and mechanical ventilation. Other nursing interventions are detailed on the nursing diagnoses in the subsequent sections.

Here are 11 nursing diagnosis common to pneumonia nursing care plans (NCP), they are as follows: 

  1. Ineffective Airway Clearance
  2. Impaired Gas Exchange
  3. Ineffective Breathing Pattern
  4. Risk for Infection
  5. Acute Pain
  6. Activity Intolerance
  7. Hyperthermia
  8. Risk for Deficient Fluid Volume
  9. Risk for Imbalanced Nutrition: Less Than Body Requirements
  10. Deficient Knowledge
  11. Deficient Fluid Volume
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Deficient Knowledge nursing diagnosis for pneumonia nursing care plan includes all the teaching plan and interventions for the patient and caregiver to achieve understanding of the disease condition and prognosis.

Nursing Diagnosis

  • Deficient Knowledge

Related Factors

Common related factors:

  • Lack of exposure
  • Misinterpretation of information
  • Altered recall
  • Unfamiliarity with the disease process and/or transmission of disease

Defining Characteristics

The common assessment cues that could serve as defining characteristics or part of your “as evidenced by” in your diagnostic statement.

  • Requests for information
  • Questions to health care team
  • Statement of misconception
  • Failure to improve/recurrence
  • Confusion about treatment
  • Inability to comply with treatment regimen, including appropriate isolation procedures

Desired Outcomes

Common goals and expected outcomes for Deficient Knowledge nursing diagnosis:

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  • Patient and caregiver will verbalize understanding of condition, disease process, and prognosis.
  • Patient and caregiver will verbalize understanding of therapeutic regimen.
  • Patient will initiate necessary lifestyle changes.
  • Patient will participate in treatment program.

Nursing Interventions and Rationale

Nursing Interventions Rationale
Assessment
Determine patient’s understanding of pneumonia complications and its treatment regimen. Provides a starting point in education.
Review normal lung function, pathology of condition. Promotes understanding of current situation and importance of cooperating with treatment regimen.
Discuss debilitating aspects of disease, length of convalescence, and recovery expectations. Identify self-care and homemaker needs. Information can enhance coping and help reduce anxiety and excessive concern. Respiratory symptoms may be slow to resolve, and fatigue and weakness can persist for an extended period. These factors may be associated with depression and the need for various forms of support and assistance.
Assess potential home care needs. Therapeutic regimen will continue after hospital discharge and home care needs will depend on the availability of supportive people including the patient’s energy level and cognitive level.
Therapeutic Interventions
Provide information in written and verbal form. Fatigue and depression can affect ability to assimilate information and follow therapeutic regimen.
Reinforce importance of continuing effective coughing and deep-breathing exercises. During initial 6–8 wk after discharge, patient is at greatest risk for recurrence of pneumonia.
Emphasize necessity for continuing antibiotic therapy for prescribed period. Full-course antibiotic treatment is required to reduce the recurrence of pneumonia and promote a healthy immune system. Early discontinuation of antibiotics may result in failure to completely resolve infectious process and may cause recurrence or rebound pneumonia.
Review the importance of cessation of smoking. Smoking destroys tracheobronchial ciliary action, irritates bronchial mucosa, and inhibits alveolar macrophages, compromising body’s natural defense against infection.
Outline steps to enhance general health and well-being: balanced rest and activity, well-rounded diet, avoidance of crowds during cold/flu season and persons with URIs. Increases natural defense, limits exposure to pathogens.
Stress importance of continuing medical follow-up and obtaining vaccinations as appropriate. May prevent recurrence of pneumonia and/or related complications.
Identify signs and symptoms requiring notification of health care provider: increasing dyspnea, chest pain, prolonged fatigue, weight loss, fever, chills, persistence of productive cough, changes in mentation. Prompt evaluation and timely intervention may prevent complications.
Instruct patient to avoid using antibiotics indiscriminately during minor viral infections. This may results in upper airway colonization with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. If the patient then develops pneumonia, the organisms producing the pneumonia may require treatment with more toxic antibiotics.
Encourage Pneumovax and annual flu shots for high-risk patients. To help prevent occurrence of the disease.
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See Also

You may also like the following posts and care plans:

Related Nursing Care Plans

Related nursing diagnoses you can use to craft another pneumonia nursing care plans.

References and Sources

Recommended journals, books, and other interesting materials to help you learn more about Pneumonia Nursing Care Plans:

  • Black, J. M., & Hawks, J. H. (2009). Medical-surgical nursing: Clinical management for positive outcomes (Vol. 1). A. M. Keene (Ed.). Saunders Elsevier. [Link]
  • Dempsey, C. L. (1995). Nursing Home‐Acquired Pneumonia: Outcomes from a Clinical Process Improvement Program. Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy, 15(1P2), 33S-38S. [Link]
  • Doenges, M. E., Moorhouse, M. F., & Murr, A. C. (2016). Nurse‘s pocket guide: Diagnoses, prioritized interventions, and rationales. FA Davis. [Link]
  • Gulanick, M., & Myers, J. L. (2016). Nursing Care Plans: Diagnoses, Interventions, and Outcomes. Elsevier Health Sciences. [Link]
  • Head, B. J., Scherb, C. A., Reed, D., Conley, D. M., Weinberg, B., Kozel, M., … & Moorhead, S. (2011). Nursing diagnoses, interventions, and patient outcomes for hospitalized older adults with pneumonia. Research in gerontological nursing4(2), 95-105. [Link]
  • Yoshino, A., Ebihara, T., Ebihara, S., Fuji, H., & Sasaki, H. (2001). Daily oral care and risk factors for pneumonia among elderly nursing home patients. Jama286(18), 2235-2236. [Link]

Originally published January 10, 2010. 

38 COMMENTS

  1. I am a nurse in Angkor Hospital for Children in Cambodia. I had read this article website. I am very interested in this article because it is understandable and easy to remember,and it can help me use it to improve my knowledge.And also I can take this article to teach and present in my class and my colleagues.

  2. Am a student nurse at The Nairobi women’s Hospital Medical Training college i came across this website yesterday and its just wonderful and i really liked it ,its simple and easy to understand

  3. I am a nursing student at the University of Eastern Africa,Eldoret Kenya.This article is one of the best that explains the Nursing care plan.it has explained very well the nursing process.

  4. Hello, I am Reta Anggita. I am a student of bachelor nursing in University of Indonesia :). I am so helped by this article :)

  5. Hi. I am a Nursing student in Florida, USA. Doing a concept map on pneumonia and this greatly assisted me. Thank you.

  6. hi…….am moha arab diz article waz most intresting 1 i eva come acroos it……….i cn sai it ita interesting kudoz yuh pipo

  7. I am a Nurning Student year 2 in Tonga,i am very glad to read this information on pneumonia i get alot of knowledge from this page and use it in my daily practice

  8. Thank you for this wonderful website. Currently, I am a 2nd year nursing student at San Beda College. This article is really helpful to me because I duty in the OB Ward and one of my patient has Pneumonia by the CXR. Thank you again! PAX!

  9. I JUST LOVE HOW SIMPLIFIED THIS NCP IS AND ITS EVIDENCE BASED,I TRIED TO DO SOME OF THE INTERVENTIONS AND THEY WORKED FOR MY PATIENT,THIS SITE HAS REALLY HELPED ME ALOT IN MY STUDIES AS A STUDENT,THANKS MATT!

  10. Was introduced to this site, and its outstanding I must say. Well structured to the core for good understanding when readin. Grateful, thanks a million..

  11. You are Godsent! Thank you for these well done pneumonia nursing care plans! I love how simple and how they’re easy to understand!

  12. Hi I’m Ngcambelo Pinky .I am a student nurse from Durban thank you so much for the article is more helpful to me

  13. Hi there I was writing few things from your this topic into my assignment but I couldn’t write a proper reference about this topic, can you please help me?

  14. Willingston Edward here, I am also a Bachelorof nursing student in the university of Botswana. Just wanna say Thank you.🔥🔥🔥

  15. Hello Vera
    I’m a student nurse at The Aga Khan University in Uganda and this article helps me alot, it’s so simplified and easy to memorise.
    Thank you for the great work you are doing and may God bless you more.

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