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Nursing Care Plan for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Nursing Care Plan for Rheumatoid Arthritis


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause inflammation of the tissue around the joints, as well as in other organs in the body. Autoimmune diseases are illnesses that occur when the body's tissues are mistakenly attacked by their own immune system. The immune system contains a complex organization of cells and antibodies designed normally to "seek and destroy" invaders of the body, particularly infections. Patients with autoimmune diseases have antibodies in their blood that target their own body tissues, where they can be associated with inflammation. Because it can affect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease.

While rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic illness, meaning it can last for years, patients may experience long periods without symptoms. However, rheumatoid arthritis is typically a progressive illness that has the potential to cause joint destruction and functional disability.
Source : medicinenet.com


Nursing Assessment for Rheumatoid Arthritis
  1. Activity / rest
    • Symptoms: Joint pain due to movement, tenderness, worsened by stress on the joints, stiffness in the morning, usually bilateral and symmetrical. Functional limitations that affect lifestyle, leisure, work, fatigue.
    • Signs: The limited range of motion, muscle atrophy, skin, contractor / abnormalities in the joints.
  2. Cardiovascular
    • Symptoms: Raynaud's phenomenon fingers / legs (eg intermittent pale, cyanosis, and redness on the fingers before the color returned to normal).
  3. Ego integrity
    • Symptoms: Acute stress factors / chronic: eg, financial, employment, disability, relationship factors, Decision and powerlessness (inability situation), Threats to the self-concept, body image, personal identity (such as dependence on others).
  4. Food / fluid
    • Symptoms: Inability to produce / consume food / fluids adequately: nausea, anorexia, difficulty in chewing.
    • Signs: Weight loss, Drought on mucous membranes.
  5. Hygiene
    • Symptoms: The difficulties to carry out personal care activities. Dependence on others.
  6. Neuro Sensory
    • Symptoms: numbness, tingling in hands and feet, loss of sensation in fingers. Symmetrical joint swelling.
  7. Pain / comfort
    • Symptoms: The acute phase of pain (may not be accompanied by soft tissue swelling in joints).
  8. Security
    • Symptoms: The skin shiny, taut, subcutaneous nodules, skin lesions, leg ulcers. The difficulty in handling light duty / household maintenance. Drought mild fever settled on the eyes and mucous membranes.
  9. Social interaction
    • Symptoms: Damage of social interaction with family / others; changing role; isolation.

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