Ineffective Breathing Pattern Care Plan & Nursing Diagnosis Writing Help

Ineffective Breathing Pattern Care Plan

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Ineffective Breathing Pattern Care Plan & Nursing Diagnosis

An ineffective breathing pattern care plan is needed when inspiration or expiration or both do not maintain optimum ventilation for an individual. It also refers to the state in which the depth, rate, timing, and rhythm of breathing becomes altered.

When the breathing pattern is ineffective, the body tissues most like will not get adequate oxygen. Under these circumstances, the nursing diagnosis “ineffective breathing pattern” is one of the issues nurses often need to focus on.

Ineffective breathing patterns also lead to several circumstances that include hypoxia, neuromuscular impairment, cognitive impairment, airway obstruction, heart failure, diaphragmatic paralysis, and thyroid dysfunction among others. Therefore, having a clear and effective breathing pattern is vital in inpatient care.

Proper management for patients with an ineffective breathing pattern is aimed at sustaining or improving pulmonary ventilation and oxygenation, promote comfort and ease of breathing while improving the patient’s ability to participate in physical activities.

It is also aimed at preventing risks associated with oxygenation issues like syncope, skin and tissue breakdown, the feeling of hopelessness, and acid-base imbalances in the body.

Ineffective Breathing Pattern Care Plan Diagnosis

Ineffective breathing patterns might occur in different situations. However, for the care plan to be efficient, the nurse or caregiver must check for the right signs and symptoms to prevent misdiagnosis. Here are some of the signs and symptoms associated with ineffective breathing pattern:

  • Changes in respiratory rate and depth
  • Altered chest excursion
  • Cyanosis
  • Decreased Po2 and Sao2; increased Pco2
  • Apnea
  • Cough
  • Fremitus
  • Dyspnea
  • Increased restlessness, metabolic rate, and apprehension
  • Holding breath
  • Increased anteroposterior chest diameter
  • Nasal flaring
  • Reduced vital capacity
  • Pursed-lip breathing or prolonged expiratory phase
  • Noisy respiration
  • Use of accessory muscles
  • Respiratory depth changes

Ineffective Breathing Pattern Goals and Outcomes

A care plan written for ineffective breathing pattern should have goals and outcomes to help the patient attain the following:

  • Maintain an effective breathing pattern at normal depth and rate minus experiencing dyspnea.
  • Keep respiratory rate within established limits.
  • Return of ABG level to and maintain them within established limits.
  • The patient carries out ADLs with regular breathing patterns.
  • The patient performs diaphragmatic pursed-lip breathing.
  • The patient indicates either verbally or through behavior, feeling comfortable when breathing.
  • Demonstrate maximum lung expansion with sufficient ventilation.

Ineffective Breathing Pattern Care Plan Assessment and Rationale

Continuous assessment of an ineffective breathing pattern is necessary and important as it establishes possible causes and ways in which a nurse or caregiver can provide sufficient care to the patient.

  • Assess and record the depth and respiratory rate: It is necessary to assess the depth and rate or respiration at close intervals of at least 4 hours. The average respiration rate should be 10 to 20 breaths a minute for adults. Any alteration in the breathing pattern requires the nurse to take action and check whether the respiratory is compromised.
  • Assess ABG levels: This helps to monitor the status of oxygenation and ventilation.
  • Check if the patient has shortness of breath: Anxiety may cause dyspnea, therefore, it is important to watch whether the patient is experiencing difficulty in inhaling much air at once. Grasping for air shows that the patient is having breath shortness.
  • Assess the use of accessory muscle: Physiological causes of respiratory issues make the patient use accessory muscles to get airflow to the body. As such, check out the uses of chest wall muscles, retraction of neck muscles, and nostrils flaring.
  • Examine the skin color: Deficiency of oxygen in the body causes fingers, lips, and tongue to have blue or cyanosis.
  • Check pulse oximetry: In the initial assessment, the caregiver must check the patient’s oxygen saturation and thereafter to monitor respiratory conditions. The normal oxygen saturation level should be 95 – 100%.
  • Listen to breathing sounds: Crackles, wheezing and other lung sounds are signs of ineffective breathing pattern. Proper assessment is required to help determine interventions.
  • Assess the ability to mobilize secretions: The patient’s incapability to mobilize secretions may contribute to change in breathing pattern.

Ineffective Breathing Pattern Care Plan Interventions and Rationales

Below are therapeutic nursing interventions for ineffective breathing pattern:

  • Place the patient with proper body alignment for maximum breathing pattern: A sitting position allows for maximum lung excursion and chest expansion.
  • Encourage sustained deep breaths by using an incentive spirometer, requiring the patient to yawn or passive exhalation: These can be done by promoting deep inspiration to increase oxygenation and preventing atelectasis. Controlled breathing methods may also aid slow respirations in tachypneic patients. Moreover, prolonged expiration prevents air trapping.
  • Encourage diaphragmatic breathing for patients with chronic ineffective breathing pattern: This will help relax the muscles while increasing the patient’s oxygen level.
  • Provide the patient with respiratory medications and oxygen as per the physician’s prescription: Medications such as Beta-adrenergic agonist works to relax airway smooth muscles while causing bronchodilation to open up air passages.
  • Assess the patient the appropriateness of inspiratory muscle training: This type of training improves conscious control of respiratory muscles as well as inspiratory muscle strength.
  • Ambulate the patient thrice a day: Ambulation is a type of care where the caregiver gets the patient from bed to engage them in light activities like walking or standing after a medical procedure like surgery. This process helps in breaking up and moving secretions thus clearing the airways.
  • Encourage regular rest periods and teach the patient to pace activity: Extra activity can deteriorate ineffective breathing, especially the shortness of breath. As such, ensure the patient rests between strenuous activities.
  • Consult a dietician for dietary modifications: COPD might cause malnutrition which can affect breathing patterns. However, good nutrition can strengthen the functionality of respiratory muscles.
  • Help patients with ADLs, as necessary: This conserves energy and avoids overexertion and fatigue.
  • Educate the patient on the significance of proper breathing, coughing, and splinting methods: By doing so, it will allow sufficient mobilization of secretions.


Writing a good ineffective breathing pattern care plan is the first step towards normalizing a patient’s ineffective breathing pattern. Should you need ineffective breathing pattern care plan writing services, then you don’t look further. We are always available to provide you with top-notch nursing writing services for both professional nurses and nursing students. Get a high-quality ineffective breathing care plan that is plagiarism and grammar errors free affordably.

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