Principles of Assessment

Essay by loveflexUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, July 2006

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Throughout this assignment the essential underpinning principles of the nursing assessment process exploring what it is, why we do it and what factors influence the nursing process will be discussed. Also discussed in this paper will be the holistic aspects of the assessment process as well as an example of an assessment tool I used on a recent placement. I will explore the effectiveness of my assessment and highlight the disadvantages which I came across. Are the principles for assessment really the foundation of good practice?

The nursing process is unique, as is the nurse - patient relationship (Holland et al 2003). The Roper et al (1996) model for nursing, offers a framework for nurses to be able to ensure that individuality is taken into account when undertaking nursing care. In order to ensure that all aspects of an individual's life are integrated into an effective plan of care, Roper at al (1996) uses a problem solving approach and the nursing process in conjunction with their model for nursing.

The nursing process is a systematic approach to planning and delivering nursing care. Yura and Walsh (1998) identified four main stages of the nursing process, assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation. However for the purpose of this assignment I will be focusing on the principles of assessment.

As stated above, assessment is the first part of the nursing process and is about collecting data or information involving the patient or client and their family or carers. In all health care settings, assessment is defined as 'the gathering of information and formulation of judgments regarding personal health' (Heath 2000 pg 23-24)

Mallet and Dougherty (2000) suggest that the initial stage of the assessment allows the nurse to gather base line of information, which will be used to compare new and ever changing data.