Nursing Care Plan For Risk Of Infection

Infection is a common complication for patients in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. It is also one of the leading causes of death in hospitalized clients. Infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. In addition to verbal and written instructions given by the physician or other health care provider, it is important for nurses to understand how they can help prevent infections in their clients.

Nursing Care Plan For Risk Of Infection

1. Definition of risk for infection

  • Risk for infection is the likelihood of developing an infection. It differs from risk of infection, which also includes factors such as exposure to a particular pathogen and the client’s immune status.
  • Risk for infection may be influenced by:
  • Age and health status (elderly clients are more at risk)
  • Exposure to pathogens and immunocompromised states (elderly clients are more at risk)
  • Environmental conditions (dry mucous membranes, oxygen therapy equipment)

2. Immediate Nursing Diagnosis of Risk of infection

  • Risk of infection is an immediate nursing diagnosis.
  • Risk of infection is a long-term nursing diagnosis.
  • Risk of infection is a collaborative nursing diagnosis.
  • Risk of infection is a critical nursing diagnosis, meaning that it needs to be addressed immediately in order to avoid complications or death.

3. Long-term goals for the client with risk of infection

  • The client will maintain the ability to fight off infection.
  • The client will not get an infection.
  • The client will not be readmitted to the hospital for an infection.
  • The client will not get a serious infection.
  • The client will not have a serious infection, including pneumonia or meningitis, if he/she is hospitalized again or has a central venous catheter placed in any setting other than an acute care facility (such as at home).

4. Common nursing interventions/goals for risk of infection

  • Provide education regarding infection prevention.
  • Provide education regarding infection control measures.
  • Provide education regarding treatment of infections and their complications, including adverse effects of therapy, drug interactions and side effects, common symptoms or signs of illness (e.g., vomiting), abnormal laboratory values (e.g., elevated blood glucose level) that require immediate medical attention, pain management techniques (including comfort measures), common methods for monitoring patient status (e.g., vital signs) and how to obtain additional information about the patient’s condition if needed through clinical evaluation or standard diagnostic tests (e.g., urinalysis) before making a decision about discharge from the hospital.*

5. Collaborative goals/interventions for risk of infection

  • Promote skin integrity
  • Promote wound care
  • Promote respiratory hygiene
  • Promote dental hygiene
  • Promote nutrition, exercise and education.
  • Promote sleep hygiene and stress reduction.

Smoking cessation is needed if the patient is currently smoking, but the following interventions are appropriate for any person at risk of infection:

  • Immunization (e.g., influenza vaccine)

6. Risk factor and pathophysiology of risk of infection

To assess the risk of infection, you must first consider the patient’s medical history, allergies and immunological disorders. These factors all contribute to your assessment.

If you are caring for a patient with an immune deficiency disorder such as AIDS, you must take precautions to prevent transmission of pathogens from yourself or others to keep them safe from receiving infections.

7. It is important to know how to assist a client who is at risk of infection.

It is important to know how to assist a client who is at risk of infection. A client who is at risk of infection may be immunosuppressed and more susceptible to bacterial or viral infections. In addition, they may have wounds that cannot heal properly due to lack of blood supply, difficulty in removing dead tissue, or an inability to fight off bacteria that causes wound breakdown.

A nurse can help prevent the following types of infections:


The risk of infection is a common problem for many people who have chronic illnesses. It is important to know how to assist a client with this condition, because they can experience severe consequences if they do not receive proper care.

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