Deadlines And Measurement

It is important that the care plan establish realistic deadlines for reaching the goal, otherwise the patient and those caring for the patient will become frustrated when the goal is not met. For example, it isn't realistic to say that the patient will no longer cough after taking dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM) simply because the medication isn't an instant cure for coughing. A more realistic goal is for the frequency of the patient's coughing to decrease after each dose. The deadline might be that the patient will take dextromethorphan for 48 hours and report a decrease in frequency of coughing and experience uninterrupted rest. This goal is both observable and measurable since the nurse can observe if the patient is coughing and measure the frequency of the cough to determine if the goal is reached.

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