4 Tonsillitis Nursing Care Plans


Tonsillitis refers to inflammation and infection of the tonsils, which consist of pairs of lymph tissue in the nasal and oropharyngeal passages. Bacterial or viral pharyngitis usually leads to the infection of the tonsils. Inflammation and edema of the tonsillar tissue makes swallowing and talking difficult, and forces the child to breathe through the mouth. Advanced infection can result in cellulitis to adjacent tissue or abscess formation which may require drainage.

Management of bacterial tonsillitis is through the use of supportive measures such as adequate hydration, rest, antipyretics, analgesic, and complete course of an antibiotic such as penicillin. A client with chronic tonsillitis is advised to undergo tonsillectomy which is the removal of the palatine tonsils located in the oropharynx. The adenoids are tonsils located in the nasopharynx and also sometimes removed by adenoidectomy.

Nursing Care Plans

Nursing care plan goals for a child experiencing tonsillitis include maintaining a patent airway, preventing aspiration, relieving pain, especially while swallowing, encouraging fluid intake, and understanding of post-discharge care and possible complications.

Here are four (4) nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis (NDx) for tonsillitis:

  1. Ineffective Airway Clearance
  2. Acute Pain
  3. Deficient Knowledge (Postoperative Home Care)
  4. Risk for Deficient Fluid Volume

Deficient Knowledge (Postoperative Home Care)

Nursing Diagnosis

May be related to

  • Lack of exposure to information regarding tonsillectomy and postoperative care

Possibly evidenced by

  • Parents state or demonstrate lack of understanding of how to care for child after surgery

Desired Outcomes

  • Parents will gain the knowledge to care for the postoperative child safely at home.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
Assess parents’ knowledge of the condition and management. Provides baseline information about parents’ understanding of illness.
Allow time for teaching, use a variety
of methods (written instructions, pictures, verbal instruction), encourage questions and reassure parents about child’s condition.
Facilitates learning by ensuring parents’ comfort. A variety of methods guarantees that even illiterate parents will receive appropriate teaching.
Provide information about the surgery
as needed. Teach parents that an important risk after a tonsillectomy
is excessive bleeding from the operative site. Teach to observe for excessive swallowing and to not give the child any straws, fork, or anything sharp object that can be put in the mouth, and to discourage excessive coughing and clearing the throat.
Provides important information for parents to recognize and prevent complications.
Instruct parents to refrain child from performing strenuous physical activity following surgery and may return to school once comfortable. Provides information to prevent complications.
Instruct parents to encourage the child to drink clear liquids during the first day, then shift to soft foods as per physician’s preference. Teach parents how to evaluate for dehydration; how to monitor intake and output and examine skin turgor. Provides information to avoid dehydration.
Provide medication teaching as needed and instruct parents to avoid giving the child aspirin. Specify action and side effects of medications. Aspirin may interfere with blood clotting.
Provide phone numbers in case parents
have additional questions after discharge.
Provides additional information as needed.

See Also

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Paul Martin is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2007. Having worked as a medical-surgical nurse for five years, he handled different kinds of patients and learned how to provide individualized care to them. Now, his experiences working in the hospital is carried over to his writings to help aspiring students achieve their goals. He is currently working as a nursing instructor and have a particular interest in nursing management, emergency care, critical care, infection control, and public health. As a writer at Nurseslabs, his goal is to impart his clinical knowledge and skills to students and nurses helping them become the best version of themselves and ultimately make an impact in uplifting the nursing profession.

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