Nursing Interventions – What You Should Know

Nursing Interventions are actions by nurses that will enhance their patients’ health and/or comfort. Nursing Interventions form the backbone of all nursing activities. For nurses who think about advancing their profession, mastering Nursing Interventions is absolutely critical.

What are Nursing Interventions?

The Journal of Nursing Education describes Nursing Interventions as all tasks nurses do for or to their patients and/or all tasks nurses do that will lead directly to their patients’ outcomes.

Nursing Interventions can be specific or general and indirect or direct. The areas of Nursing Interventions include Mobility Therapy; Sleep Pattern Control; Diet Compliance; Infection Control; Positioning Therapy; Alcohol and/or Drugs Abuse Control; Bedbound Care; Postpartum Care; and Energy Conservation. But there are more fields where Nursing Intervention plays a crucial role.

Most nurses are working in specialized settings (i.e. Oncology, ICU, or Pediatrics) and all these specializations require specific knowledge of interventions often not needed in some other area and although not all nurses may be familiar with all possible interventions, the concept of Nursing Interventions is universal all across the world of nursing.

Frequently, Nursing Interventions are referred to in the same way as Nursing Assessments and though both are key elements of the work nurses will do, there are significant differences between the two.

Interventions and Assessments

Assessments can be done by physicians and nurses, though physicians sometimes tend to look down of the work and insights of Registered Nurses. Assessments are all about how medical professionals are gaining information about patients’ conditions, ailments, and symptoms. There are four main types of possible health assessments:

  • Comprehensive Assessments – require thorough reviews of patients’ conditions and health.
  • Abbreviated Assessments – are carried out without lengthy evaluations.
  • Problem-centered Assessments – center on specific medical issues or ailments.
  • Specific Populations Assessment – for groups of people that are medically significant e.g. the elderly or infants.

At Nursing Assessments, nurses usually gain information on:
Their patients’ health history and health status; their main complaint; the condition of their patients’ external body (e.g. their skin); the neurological condition; the condition of their patients’ internal systems (e.g. musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, or pulmonary systems); and their patients’ nutrition status.

Generally, Nursing Interventions will be based on Nursing Assessments. The ultimate goal of all assessments is to make a decision on the best treatment, but often, the Nursing Intervention in itself will be the best treatment! Nursing Interventions go much further than just fixing-up their patients in a medical way. Nursing Interventions can include Terminal and Hospice Care; Stress Control and Crisis Therapy; Bereavement Support; Communication with Physicians and Nurses; Conducting Patients’ Status Reports and Coordinating Nursing Care; and Health Precaution Therapy.

Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) System

Nursing Interventions relate to practically all interactions that nurses will have with their patients. So there is a rigorous system for the identification and evaluation of their intervention activities.

The American Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) System is developed for the categorization and description of all possible interventions nurses might be performing. The NIC System is subjected to continual evaluation and updated regularly. The NIC System describes all interventions related to Clinical Documentation; All Standardized Care-related Communications; Intervention-related Research; Productivity Assessment and Measurement; Competency Evaluations; and Curriculum Design.

The System includes several classification levels of which the first contains seven rather broad domains that nurses should be aware of but not necessarily need to master all as quite a few are field-specific and not every nurse will be able to master all. Some are better in this than others, as well. These are Behavioral; Community; Family; Health & Healthcare Systems; Basic Physiology; Complex Physiology; and Safety.

Within these seven domains, there are 30 classes that include lists of all possible interventions. Currently, these lists include more than 550 possible Nursing Interventions. Of course, the number of all possible interventions seems daunting, but in general, nurses are not required to be familiar with every single possible intervention. Are you interested in getting a job in the great and exciting world of nursing and healthcare? Read the post “How to become an LPN through online programs” to find out what it takes to get started!