5 Suggestions for A Very NANDA Thanksgiving

November 21st, 2011


By , BSN, RN

The holiday season fast approaches; Thanksgiving is just days away. As nurses and nursing students many of us will have time off to spend with our families. However, many of us will be working, caring for our patients who must be in the hospital; or as students, studying for upcoming final exams. Either way, it is no time to forget your NANDA-I (North American Nursing Diagnosis Association-International) approved nursing diagnoses and plan accordingly.

Here are a few to consider for Thanksgiving and beyond :

  1. Risk for Activity Intolerance related to Thanksgiving Dinner as manifested by groaning while pushing back from the table and trying to stand and walk away. Don't hurt yourself. Make sure you have ample support from the table or loved ones helping you to rise. Don't get up too fast; you don't want to suffer from postural hypotension. When you stand up quickly gravity pulls blood from your brain towards your feet and blood doesn't return to the brain until the next heart beat. You will be safe, just no sudden movements. You also don't want to suffer cardiac overload so try to regulate drinking from the gravy boat.

  2. Disturbed Body Image related to too much Pumpkin Pie as manifested by unbuttoned jeans or stretched elastic in waistband. It's not pretty gentlemen (and ladies too for that matter). I could suggest not eating to the point of actual physical expansion but what fun is that. Instead, a few fashion suggestions. Men-a nice golf shirt or white oxford untucked can give a pulled together yet comfortable appearance and allow for those unbuttoned jeans. Ladies, thankfully, tunics are in fashion. Wear one and no one will be the wiser when that next helping of stuffing is one bite too far.

  3. Disturbed Energy Field related to too much tryptophan from turkey consumption as evidenced by yawning or inability to stay awake in recliner after dinner. Nothing wrong with a post-gorge nap. In fact, I believe (unscientifically) it is the best thing you can do for yourself and replenishes your energy field for that late in the evening leftovers sandwich. Scientifically, data suggests that post-Thanksgiving drowsiness is not related to tryptophan/turkey at all but to the immense amount of carbs we ingest along with our favorite bird. So, if you really feel a need to stay alert, cut back on the stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and rolls.


  4. Risk for Nutrition Imbalance; more than body requirements related to Holiday Season as manifested by bathroom scale explosion.Either eat less or don't step on the scale. It's the holidays and over indulgence is the name of the game. You basically have two options: fixate on your weight, take appropriate steps to exercise, eat more cruciferous vegetables instead of potato puffs and forego the glass of wine/beer or suck it up. These are the holidays; everyone has free food and gift chocolates and champagne cocktails. Enjoy and renew your gym membership in January.


  5. Risk for Trauma related to Black Friday Deal Hunting as manifested by bumps, bruises, torn muscles, and trampled feet. If you are a serious bargain hunter you will be out of the house before midnight lining up at the retailer of your choice. Dressing in layers is key for standing in the lines outside and then sprinting through the aisles to grab those special deals. I suggest a light warm-up then a series on long slow stretches to get ready for the dash. Closed toe shoes are a necessity, elbow and knee pads optional. Watch out for flying handbags, dropped items in the aisles, and runaway shopping carts.

It's time to asses your plans for these last few weeks of the year, study the symptoms, define the characteristics and chart a path. With a little critical thinking you can set a plan of care that will get you through Thanksgiving, past Christmas, and into the new year relatively unscathed.

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