Nursing Care Plan For Jaundice

Nursing Care Plan For Jaundice


Jaundice, a common clinical manifestation, is characterized by the yellowing of the skin, mucous membranes, and sclera due to the accumulation of bilirubin in the bloodstream. It can occur in individuals of all ages and is often a sign of an underlying medical condition affecting the liver, gallbladder, or red blood cells. Nursing care for patients with jaundice is crucial to address the underlying causes, alleviate symptoms, and prevent complications.

This nursing care plan is designed to provide comprehensive and patient-centered care for individuals with jaundice. It recognizes the diverse etiologies of jaundice, including hepatitis, cirrhosis, hemolysis, and biliary obstruction, among others. Nursing interventions aim to promote early diagnosis, effective treatment, patient education, and symptom management.

Nurses, as frontline healthcare providers, play a pivotal role in assessing and monitoring patients with jaundice, advocating for appropriate diagnostic tests and treatments, and educating patients and their families about the condition. This care plan outlines evidence-based nursing interventions that encompass the physical, psychosocial, and educational aspects of care for patients with jaundice, emphasizing the importance of early detection and intervention to optimize patient outcomes.

Nursing Assessment for Jaundice:

Assessing a patient with jaundice involves a comprehensive evaluation of the patient’s physical condition, medical history, and potential underlying causes. Jaundice is a symptom rather than a disease itself, and a thorough assessment is essential to identify its origin and any associated complications. Here is a detailed nursing assessment for a patient with jaundice:

1. Chief Complaint and History:

  • Begin by obtaining the patient’s chief complaint and any reported symptoms, such as yellowing of the skin and eyes, dark urine, or abdominal pain.
  • Gather a detailed medical history, including any preexisting liver or gallbladder conditions, recent illnesses, medications, alcohol use, and exposure to toxins or hepatitis risk factors.

2. Physical Examination:

  • Inspect the patient’s skin, sclera (whites of the eyes), and mucous membranes for the presence and extent of jaundice.
  • Palpate the abdomen to assess for tenderness, hepatomegaly (enlarged liver), or splenomegaly (enlarged spleen).
  • Assess for signs of dehydration, such as dry mucous membranes and poor skin turgor.

3. Vital Signs and General Appearance:

  • Monitor vital signs, including temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate.
  • Evaluate the patient’s general appearance and level of consciousness for signs of distress or altered mental status.

4. Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests:

  • Review laboratory results, including serum bilirubin levels, liver function tests (AST, ALT, ALP), complete blood count (CBC), and coagulation profile to identify the underlying cause and severity of jaundice.
  • Perform abdominal ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI as ordered to assess the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and surrounding structures.

5. Pain Assessment:

  • Assess the presence, location, and intensity of abdominal pain, which may indicate biliary obstruction or gallbladder disease.
  • Utilize a pain assessment scale to quantify pain levels and monitor the effectiveness of pain management interventions.

6. Dietary History and Nutritional Status:

  • Collect information about the patient’s dietary habits, including changes in appetite, dietary restrictions, and any recent weight loss.
  • Evaluate the patient’s nutritional status and risk for malnutrition or dehydration.

7. Medication History:

  • Review the patient’s medication list, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, to identify potential hepatotoxic medications.

8. Psychosocial Assessment:

  • Assess the patient’s emotional well-being and support system, as jaundice can lead to anxiety, depression, and social isolation.
  • Explore the patient’s alcohol or substance use history and provide appropriate referrals if needed.

9. Education and Patient/Family Support:

  • Provide the patient and their family with education about jaundice, its potential causes, and the importance of adherence to prescribed treatments and follow-up appointments.
  • Offer emotional support and encourage open communication to address any concerns or questions.

10. Safety Assessment:

  • Evaluate the patient’s fall risk, especially if they experience weakness or altered mental status.
  • Implement fall prevention measures if necessary.

A comprehensive nursing assessment for jaundice is crucial for identifying the underlying cause, assessing the severity of the condition, and developing an individualized care plan. This assessment serves as the foundation for appropriate interventions, treatment strategies, and patient education to optimize outcomes and prevent complications.

Nursing Diagnosis for Jaundice:

1. Risk for Imbalanced Nutrition: Less Than Body Requirements related to anorexia and altered digestion and absorption:

  • Jaundice can lead to anorexia and altered digestion, reducing nutrient intake and increasing the risk of malnutrition.

2. Impaired Skin Integrity related to pruritus and scratching:

  • Pruritus (itching) is a common symptom of jaundice, which may lead to skin damage due to scratching.

3. Acute Pain related to abdominal discomfort or biliary colic:

  • Jaundice caused by biliary obstruction or gallbladder disease can result in abdominal pain or biliary colic.

4. Risk for Infection related to altered immune response secondary to liver dysfunction:

  • Liver dysfunction associated with jaundice can impair the immune system’s ability to combat infections.

5. Anxiety related to the diagnosis, altered appearance, or uncertainty about the future:

  • A diagnosis of jaundice can be distressing, leading to anxiety about its underlying cause, treatment, and prognosis.

6. Deficient Knowledge related to the cause, treatment, and self-care measures for jaundice:

  • Patients with jaundice may lack knowledge about the condition’s cause, necessary treatments, and self-care measures.

7. Risk for Falls related to weakness, altered gait, or altered mental status:

  • Patients with jaundice may experience weakness or altered mental status, increasing the risk of falls.

8. Ineffective Therapeutic Regimen Management related to non-compliance with prescribed medications or dietary restrictions:

  • Patients with jaundice may struggle with medication adherence and dietary restrictions, affecting their treatment outcomes.

Nursing diagnoses for jaundice guide the development of individualized care plans that address the physical, psychological, and educational needs of patients. These diagnoses help healthcare providers formulate interventions aimed at improving the patient’s overall well-being and optimizing their quality of life during treatment and recovery.

Nursing Interventions for Jaundice:

1. Nutritional Support:

  • Collaborate with dietitians to design a well-balanced diet tailored to the patient’s needs, considering any dietary restrictions.
  • Encourage small, frequent meals to improve nutritional intake.
  • Monitor and document the patient’s dietary preferences and intake, addressing any anorexia or dietary aversions.
  • Administer prescribed vitamin supplements if necessary, such as fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) for individuals with impaired fat absorption.

2. Pruritus Management:

  • Implement measures to relieve pruritus (itching), which is common in jaundice:
  • Administer prescribed antipruritic medications as ordered.
  • Provide cool or tepid baths with mild, non-irritating soap.
  • Maintain a cool and comfortable room temperature.
  • Encourage the use of soft, non-abrasive fabrics for clothing and bedding.
  • Teach the patient to avoid scratching and use gentle patting instead.

3. Pain Management:

  • Assess and manage abdominal pain or biliary colic:
  • Administer prescribed pain medications as ordered.
  • Encourage relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, to alleviate discomfort.
  • Provide comfort measures, such as warm compresses, to soothe abdominal pain.

4. Infection Prevention:

  • Educate the patient and family about infection prevention measures:
  • Stress the importance of hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene.
  • Encourage adherence to immunization schedules, including hepatitis vaccinations if appropriate.
  • Monitor for signs of infection, such as fever or increased jaundice, and promptly report any symptoms to the healthcare team.

5. Anxiety Reduction:

  • Offer emotional support and therapeutic communication to address the patient’s anxiety:
  • Listen actively to the patient’s concerns and provide reassurance.
  • Encourage the patient to express their feelings and fears openly.
  • Provide information about the condition, treatment, and expected outcomes.
  • Offer relaxation techniques or referral to a mental health professional if needed.

6. Patient Education:

  • Explain the importance of medication adherence, including any prescribed liver medications or antiviral drugs.
  • Provide dietary guidance and emphasize the importance of dietary restrictions, such as avoiding alcohol or fatty foods.
  • Instruct the patient on recognizing signs of worsening jaundice and when to seek medical attention.

7. Fall Prevention:

  • Implement fall prevention measures, such as providing assistive devices (e.g., walkers or canes) and ensuring a safe environment.
  • Encourage the patient to call for assistance when moving or ambulating if they feel weak or dizzy.

8. Medication Management:

  • Ensure the patient understands the importance of medication compliance and the proper administration of prescribed medications.
  • Provide medication reminders or pill organizers if necessary.
  • Monitor for potential medication interactions and adverse effects.

Nursing interventions for jaundice aim to address the underlying causes, alleviate symptoms, and prevent complications while providing emotional support and education to patients and their families. These interventions should be tailored to the individual patient’s condition and needs to optimize their overall well-being during the course of jaundice management.


In conclusion, the nursing care plan for jaundice is a comprehensive framework that underscores the importance of holistic care for individuals affected by this common yet multifaceted condition. Jaundice, characterized by the yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes, serves as a visible indicator of underlying liver, gallbladder, or blood-related issues.

The care plan outlined above acknowledges the diverse etiologies of jaundice and emphasizes the critical role of nursing interventions in addressing its underlying causes, alleviating symptoms, and preventing complications. It underscores the significance of patient education, nutritional support, symptom management, and emotional well-being, all of which contribute to a patient’s overall quality of life during their journey to recovery.

Furthermore, the care plan recognizes the value of collaboration among healthcare professionals, including dietitians, pharmacists, and mental health specialists, in delivering patient-centered care. By integrating these various disciplines, healthcare providers can offer comprehensive support to individuals with jaundice and empower them to actively participate in their care.

Nursing care plans for jaundice serve as a guide to deliver compassionate and effective care, tailored to the unique needs of each patient. Through their expertise and commitment to promoting health and well-being, nurses play an indispensable role in supporting individuals and their families as they navigate the challenges posed by jaundice and its underlying causes.


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