Nursing Care Plan (NCP) for Dehydration & Fever

Watch More! Unlock the full videos with a FREE trial

Add to Study plan

Included In This Lesson

Study Tools

Fever (Picmonic)

Access More! View the full outline and transcript with a FREE trial


Hey guys, we're going to talk about fever and dehydration and how to put this into a nursing care plan. 


First, we have to collect our information and this is all about just gathering that data. So, we have two things going on here, right? We have a fever and the patient's dehydrated. Our subjective data are the things that are coming from the patient. Maybe the patient is saying they're really lethargic, really tired, weak. Maybe they've had trouble sleeping, or body aches, all things that would show you that a patient's not feeling well. Decreased appetite would also be that, or if the patient's complaining of a headache, of course, if they've said that they've gotten an elevated temperature. Next, is the dehydration piece. So let's say it's a baby. They've had dry diapers, right? They're not having output or an adult saying no output. They're not getting it. Maybe they've said that they've been vomiting for 24 hours. That's a sure-fire way to say that a patient would be dehydrated. 


Now, down to our objective data, and again, still two things here, we have a fever happening and we have dehydration. So, our objective data is going to be the things that we see and we observe. So for fever, they feel hot to touch. Maybe we've gotten a temp and it's elevated. Maybe we've assessed that and they have a fever and let's say they're tachypnic because they are hot, and they're trying to get rid of some of that extra heat that they have on them. So tachypnea and dehydration. We assess some dry mucous membranes, dry mouth, no tears like on a baby, so they're so dehydrated that they don't even make tears, never a good sign. Maybe we witnessed the vomiting happening. So again, that would show us that they are dehydrated and maybe they're tachycardic and tachypnic from that. Then, obviously our decreased urinary output is going to also show us that they're dehydrated. 


Alright, so let's analyze the information and this is going to get us to diagnose and prioritize. So, what is the problem? These are the “what” questions? Well, there's an infection of some sort, whether it be bacterial or viral and the patient's dehydrated. So, let's say for this hypothetical patient, we have a temp of 102 and we have dry diapers. We'll say it's a baby. Okay, so that is our problem. So, that's showing a fever and showing dehydration. What needs to be improved? Well, the fever needs to be brought down and we need to hydrate the patient. That's what needs to be improved. Yeah, the fever and hydration. So, we can improve that hopefully with some IV fluids and some antipyretics to help with that fever, or antibiotics if we determine that it's a bacterial infection. What is the priority? Our priority is going to be to reduce that fever and make sure we're not spreading it, and to hydrate. So fix the fluid balance. 


Alright, so now we're going to ask the “how” questions, and this is going to help us plan, implement, and evaluate. So, how did we know it was a problem? Well, this is where you're going to link your data that you have collected on your patients. For our hypothetical patient that we're using here, we knew it was a problem because we felt the hot skin and we got a temp of 102, and then, we saw that there was no output. So, that's how we know it was a problem. How are we going to address it? Well, we're going to address it by, let's say, I would do some cool compresses to help cool down the patient, or give some meds to help lower that fever right, and then hydrate. So, however that may be, probably for this patient would be IV. Then, how am I going to know it gets better? Well, the fever will be reduced and the wet diapers will start again and we'll have some output. Our patient will report some wet diapers or the parent will. 


Alright, so now translate. This is where we're super concise with these high level nursing concepts. So here, I think infection control, we have a fluid balance issue and then we have some patient education that's needed. Alright, so let's go on to transcribe. With transcribing, we're looking at what the problem is. We're looking at the data, how we're going to intervene to fix, and then our, why, why is this intervention needed and what we expect to see happen? So, here are concepts, there are priorities, infection control, fluid balance, and patient education. First, let's look at our data. We have a fever showing us that there's an infection problem and that's one of the things, perhaps they've had a swab done for strep or something like that, showing us that there's an infection. 


Our interventions, well, we're going to give an antibiotic to reduce that fever and by reducing that fever, we can hopefully get the fever down and make the patient not contagious anymore to limit that spread of infection with antibiotics. So, if we found out that it was a bacterial infection, we could give some antibiotics as an intervention and of course with meds, it's as ordered, right, because we're not ordering medication. Now, for the rationale. So the “why”, well, we want to lower that fever because by lowering the fever, that's going to help the baby to drink and help the hydration status, which is going to help our fluid balance. When we get down here and also an antibiotic, why would we give out, well to help reduce the bacteria and If there was an infection, to help with infection control. So, our expected outcomes are going to be the fever being reduced and that's by both meds to the antibiotic. Then on the antibiotics, if we can attack the bacterial infection, it will help reduce that fever and we'll also help with hydration status, which brings us right into our fluid balance.


Alright, so our data, dry mucous membranes, no output, maybe some vomiting. Our interventions, we are going to IV and PO hydrate however we see fit. Remember, we need an order for IV, but we have to get some fluid back in the patient to bring balance. So why, well, it's going to correct the dehydration. Our expected outcome is that we are going to have the patient have some urinary output within normal limits. With our patient education, we want to educate on medication frequency, so when they can take it, how often they can take it and if they do get prescribed an antibiotic, then we want to give instructions on that as well. We want to educate on frequency in our intervention and educate on how long to take. With our rationale, the “why”, well, we need the patient to know the correct dosing. We need them to know to take that antibiotic until it's completed right, so that'll be our why. Finally,  our expected outcome is that the patient will understand, verbalize or demonstrate an understanding. 


Alright guys, so let's wrap it up and look at these key points. So, we are collecting information,  that's our data we are going to analyze so that we can diagnose and prioritize. We are going to ask how, which is gonna allow for plan, implementation, and evaluation. We are going to translate, so these are our concise terms and then transcribed, so whatever form you find helpful for you. Then you can put all your care plans together. 


Alright guys, good,so under, you can look at all the care plans we have available to help you through this. We love you. Go out there and be your best selves and as always, happy nursing!

View the FULL Transcript

When you start a FREE trial you gain access to the full outline as well as:

  • SIMCLEX (NCLEX Simulator)
  • 6,500+ Practice NCLEX Questions
  • 2,000+ HD Videos
  • 300+ Nursing Cheatsheets

“Would suggest to all nursing students . . . Guaranteed to ease the stress!”