What is the difference between a medical diagnosis and a nursing diagnosis?
NANDA International

A medical diagnosis deals with disease or medical condition. A nursing diagnosis deals with human response to actual or potential health problems and life processes.  For example, a medical diagnosis of Cerebrovascular Attack (CVA or Stroke) provides information about the patient’s pathology. The complimentary nursing diagnoses of Impaired verbal communication, risk for falls, interrupted family processes and powerlessness provide a more holistic understanding of the impact of that stroke on this particular patient and his family – they also direct nursing interventions to obtain patient-specific outcomes.

In this video, NANDA-I Executive Director, Dr. T. Heather Herdman, discusses the differences between medical diagnoses and nursing diagnoses.

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