A well-written case study paper for a nursing program requires some planning and consideration. All too often, students begin writing before they complete appropriate, preliminary steps. Ideally, before you start a paper, you should already have determined the focus and format of it. You will then follow this up with a fact-gathering step in which you will gather and collate the content of your paper. Finally, there is the construction/execution step in which you will write the paper in a standard format (such as the APA style) and edit it.
A nursing case study paper contains several sections that fall into three categories:
1. The status of the patient
2. The nursing assessment of the patient
3. Current Care Plan and Recommendations
- Details of the nursing care plan (including nursing goals and interventions)
- Evaluation of the current care plan
- Recommendations for changes in the current care plan
The first portion of the case study paper will talk about the patient — who they are, why they are being included in the study, their demographic data (i.e., age, race), the reason(s) they sought medical attention and the subsequent diagnosis. It will also discuss the role that nursing plays in the care of this patient.
Next, thoroughly discuss any disease process. Make sure you outline causes, symptoms, observations, and how preferred treatments can affect nursing care. Also, describe the history and progression of the disease. Some important questions for you to answer are: 1) What were the first indications that there was something wrong, and 2) What symptoms convinced the patient to seek help?
When you are discussing the nursing assessment of the patient, describe the patientΓÇÖs problems in terms of nursing diagnoses. Be specific as to why you have identified a particular diagnosis. For example, is frequent urination causing an alteration in the patientΓÇÖs sleep patterns? The nursing diagnoses you identify in your assessment will help form the nursing care plan.
Current Care Plan and Recommendations for Improvement
Describe the nursing care plan and goals, and explain how the nursing care plan improves the quality of the patientΓÇÖs life. What positive changes does the nursing care plan hope to achieve in the patientΓÇÖs life? How will the care plan be executed? Who will be responsible for the delivery of the care plan? What measurable goals will they track to determine the success of the plan?
The final discussion should be your personal recommendations. Based on the current status of the patient, the diagnosis, prognosis, and the nursing care plan, what other actions do you recommend can be taken to improve the patientΓÇÖs chances of recovery? You must support your recommendations with authoritative sources and cite appropriately per APA style guidelines.
Creating a well-written nursing case study paper doesnΓÇÖt need to be a grueling challenge. It can be gratifying, and itΓÇÖs good practice for assessing patients while out in the field, too. Keep in mind that your instructor will not only grade you on the quality of the content of your paper but by how you apply the APA style, as well. If you find that you are spending too much time formatting your paper, consider using formatting software as a helpful tool to ensure accuracy, so you donΓÇÖt lose points on a well-written paper because of some formatting errors.
For more information about APA or MLA formats, contact us today.
David Plaut is the founder of Reference Point Software (RPS). RPS offers a complete suite of easy-to-use formatting template products featuring MLA and APA style templates, freeing up time to focus on substance while ensuring formatting accuracy.┬á
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