The fourth step in the nursing process is implementation. Implementation involves the execution of the nursing plan of care derived during the planning phase. It consists of performing nursing activities that have been planned to meet the goals set with the client. Nurses may delegate some of the nursing interventions to other persons assigned to care for the client—for example, the licensed practical nurses and unlicensed assistive personnel.
Implementation involves many skills. The nurse must continue to assess the client’s condition before, during, and after the nursing intervention. Assessment prior to the intervention provides the nurse with baseline data. Assessment during and after the intervention allows the nurse to detect positive or negative responses the client may have to the intervention. If negative responses occur during the procedure, the nurse must take appropriate action. If positive responses occur, the nurse adds this information to the database for use in evaluating the efficacy of the intervention. The nurse must also possess psychomotor skills, interpersonal skills, and critical thinking skills to perform the nursing interventions that have been planned. The nurse uses psychomotor skills when performing procedures such as giving injections, changing dressings, and helping the client perform range-of-motion (ROM) exercises. Interpersonal skills are necessary as the nurse interacts with the client and the family to collect data, provide information in teaching sessions, and offer support in times of anxiety. Critical thinking skills enable the nurse to think through the situation, ask the appropriate questions, and make decisions about what needs to be done. The implementation step also involves reporting and documentation. Data to be recorded include the client condition prior to the intervention, the specific intervention performed, the client response to the intervention, and client outcomes.
Evaluation, the fifth step in the nursing process, involves determining whether the client goals have been met, partially met, or not met. If the goal has been met, the nurse must then decide whether nursing activities will cease or continue in order for status to be maintained. If the goal has been partially met or not been met, the nurse must reassess the situation. Data are collected to determine why the goal has not been achieved and what
modifications to the plan of care are necessary. There are a number of possible reasons that goals are not met or are only partially met, including:
• The initial assessment data were incomplete.
• The goals and expected outcomes were not realistic.
• The time frame was too optimistic.
• The goals and/or the nursing interventions planned were not appropriate for the client.
Evaluation is an ongoing process. Nurses continually evaluate data in order to make informed decisions during other phases of the nursing process.

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