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Pneumonia: A Respiratory Disease




Pneumonia: A Respiratory Disease

Pneumonia is a disease that has affected many individuals through the course of history. In the United States, it affects over 3 million individuals over the course of any particular year. Nearly 5% of the affected individuals will also succumb to the effects of the disease. It is a lung infection that causes difficulties related to the respiratory system. This paper explores the issues that arise from contraction of the ailment. The paper consequently explores the relationship between the disease and the HFSON Conceptual Framework. This will provide insights on how care should be provided to individuals affected by pneumonia. A nursing role for the ailment is subsequently developed in the paper. Unique scientific and humanistic ideals and values are then put forward, in the context of the nursing role. In essence, this paper seeks to provide a patient-focused response to how nursing should be carried out in the context of pneumonia patients.

Pneumonia is an infection that infects one or both of the patient’s lungs. This infection may be as a result of bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasitic action. However, bacteria and germs have been identified as the main causes of the ailment. The disease develops once, and individual breathes in the pneumonia-causing bacteria and his/her immune system is unable to block the entry. The disease mostly affects individuals with weakened immune systems, especially, young children and older adults (Wong and Hockenberry et al., 2011). The disease is characterized by inflammation of the patient’s alveoli. It is important to note that the disease affects both alveoli in the lungs, and those filled with fluid content. The organisms settle in the alveoli and begin cellular multiplication, hence increasing in numbers. This situation harms the patient’s health further (Adamec, 2011).

Bacterial pneumonia is mainly caused by Streptococcus pneumonia. However, there are other forms that affect different individuals. People affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or alcoholism are usually susceptible to infection by the Klebsiella pneumonia. Viral pneumonias differ from the bacterial variety in that, they do not respond to antibiotic medications. Potential causes of this form of pneumonia are seen through the influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Pneumonia is reflected through many signs. The most prominent of them are violent coughs, sputum, fevers, fast breathing and shaking chills (Adamec, 2011).

The treatment of pneumonia is mostly dependent on its form. The bacterial strains are mostly treated with the help of antibiotics. On the other hand, the viral strains are treated through rest for the patient, as well as consumption of rehydrants. The fungal pneumonias are treated through administration of antifungal medications on the patient. One of the effects of pneumonia is general weakness in the patient. This may result in hospitalization of the person due to a weakened immune system alongside other ailments that may arise. In such situations, the patients are administered with intravenous antibiotics. In some instances, they may be provided with a supply of oxygen.

The conceptual framework of the nursing practice is focused on the client. This relates to the individual, their respective families and communities, as well as their interactions with the environment. There are three nursing client systems. They relate to the person, the family and the community. Each system grows and develops in a different level, depending on several factors. For example, their bio-psychosocial and spiritual behavior each plays a role. In the individual, there is an attempt at balancing between energy utility and conservation. It is important to note that this serves as a mechanism for maintaining the individual’s health. This idea holds great relevance in the nursing of pneumonia patients. Such individuals are typically affected by weakness and lack of strength in their bodies.

Nursing is focused on maximizing the energy that is available for the affected individuals. It does this by attempting to reduce energy needs in the individuals. For pneumonia patients, this relates to extensive bed rest. This is especially needed for patients affected by the viral strain of the disease. The nursing process also attempts to increase the competence of constructive use of energy in the patient. In the case of pneumonia patients, the community and family each play a unique role. However, this takes place albeit on a limited scale.

Support and encouragement from these parties is necessary for success in treatment of the patient (D’antonio and Lewenson, 2010).  The pneumonia represents a pattern of adaptive responses to challenges in the patient’s adaptation to the environment. Their health may be observed through different symptoms. This highlights the general wellness of the pneumonia patient. The symptoms are also helpful in reflecting the patient’s response to treatment, hence determining their illness. These measures are useful in determining the patient’s survival.

The nursing process is aimed at promoting at ensuring the wellness of the pneumonia patient. This is achieved through ensuring that the patient conserves their energy, which is vital for an ailment as consuming as pneumonia. This process is useful in situations whereby the mode of treatment is not as clearly available. According to Eliopoulos (2010), viral pneumonia patients need the nurses to assist them in conserving their energy through extensive rest. The structural integrity of environments such as hospitals also assists in the treatment process. The role of the nurse is that of caregiver in the case of pneumonia patients (Masters, 2005).

The patient’s adaptation is an important part of the wellness process. A nurse has a duty in ensuring that different factors fit the adaptation requirements. Nursing interventions are viewed as supportive to the pneumonia patient’s needs. Clinical practice, reasoning and communication processes are necessary for the treatment process. For example, the nurses are required to employ clinical reasoning in the establishment of client needs, as well as reassessments (Pender and Murdaugh et al., 2006). This is useful in the development of treatment goals and strategies that are aimed at improving the patient’s adaptation to the environment. Effective adaptation of the patient subsequently results in their treatment.

In the treatment of pneumonia patients, several legal issues may potentially arise. Pneumonia affects individuals from varied backgrounds. In the process of treatment, nurses may encounter patients affected by dementia. This results into the question of whether treatment should be provided to them. Failure to offer them treatment automatically qualifies as professional negligence, in the statutes of United States law (Guido, 2006). However, provision of treatment may develop further complications in the patients. Nurses play a critical role in ensuring that the patient’s energy is conserved. This is a central part of the treatment. However, this presents a paradox in the event that a nurse fails to survey the patient’s health and illness effectively. Nurses may be charged with negligence. In the case of limited options in the treatment, nurses are once again exposed to charges of professional negligence (Burkhardt and Nathaniel, 2008).

The body’s natural defense against pneumonia is defeated once the contamination agents are breathed in. Various studies have shown that exposure to environments, characterized by infected air supplies, results into higher rates of pneumonia infections. For example, industrial environments present higher risks of exposure to pneumonia than residential locations. For effective treatment, the focus is placed on ensuring that the patients utilize as little energy as possible. Various studies have shown that this approach is more effective than purely clinical modes of treatment. For example, some cases of pneumonia are untreatable by use of antibiotics. Bed rest is beneficial in such cases.



Adamec, C. (2011). Pneumonia. New York, NY: Chelsea House.

Burkhardt, M. and Nathaniel, A. (2008). Ethics & issues in contemporary nursing. Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning.

D’antonio, P. and Lewenson, S. (2010). Nursing Interventions Through Time. New York: Springer Pub. Co..

Eliopoulos, C. (2010). Gerontological nursing. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Guido, G. (2006). Legal and ethical issues in nursing. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Masters, K. (2005). Role development in professional nursing practice. Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett.

Pender, N., Murdaugh, C. and Parsons, M. (2006). Health promotion in nursing practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Wong, D., Hockenberry, M. and Wilson, D. (2011). Wong’s nursing care of infants and children. St. Louis, Mo.: Mosby/Elsevier.


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