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Nursing interventions are chosen as part of the planning process to achieve patient outcomes. Once nursing diagnoses are determined, the goals and outcomes are specified, then the nursing interventions are selected and individualized according to the patient's situation.

A nursing intervention is a treatment or action based on scientific concepts and knowledge from the nursing, behavioral, and physical sciences. Identifying and prioritizing nursing interventions based on the desired outcome is essential.

The three types of nursing interventions are nurse-initiated, physician-initiated, and collaborative. Some patients require all three interventions, while others require nurse and physician-initiated only.

  • Nurse-initiated interventions, or independent nursing interventions, are actions a nurse independently begins in response to a nursing diagnosis without healthcare providers' supervision, guidance, or orders. Examples include positioning patients to prevent pressure injuries or informing patients about the adverse effects of medications.
  • Physician-initiated interventions, or dependent nursing interventions, are treatments or actions requiring a physician's or nurse practitioner's orders for treating or managing a medical diagnosis are interventions. Examples include administering a medication or implementing an invasive procedure such as inserting a Foley catheter or starting an IV infusion.
  • Collaborative intervention, or interdependent interventions, require multiple healthcare providers' combined knowledge, skill, and expertise. Nursing interventions require collaboration with other healthcare team members, such as physicians, social workers, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists.
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