Risk for Infection Nursing Care Plan [Diagnosis & Interventions]

 When providing the best patient care, one of the most essential things nurses can do is develop an effective nursing care plan. A good nursing care plan helps ensure that all aspects of a patient’s health and well-being are met, including preventing and managing infection control risks.

This blog post will provide readers with an overview of some critical elements in creating a comprehensive risk for infection and control prevention infection care plan nursing

specifically geared towards medical professionals to help protect their patients from harm.

What is the Risk of Infection?

The risk of infection is a nursing diagnosis identified by NANDA in 1986. It is defined as the state in which an individual is vulnerable to infiltration by an opportunistic or pathogenic organism (such as viruses, fungi, bacteria, protozoa, or other parasites) originating from endogenous or exogenous sources. Although anyone can become infected with a pathogen, those who carry this diagnosis are especially at risk and should take extra precautions to ensure their safety against infection.


Risk of infection can be caused by a variety of different factors, including but not limited to poor sanitation and hygiene practices, overcrowding or close physical contact with an infected individual, exposure to contaminated food or water sources, immunocompromised states (i.e., HIV/AIDS, Diabetes), inadequate medical treatment for pre-existing conditions/diseases, and certain medications that suppress the body’s natural immunity system.


The best way to control the risk of infection is through preventative measures. This includes but is not limited to teaching patients about proper hygiene and sanitation techniques, providing education regarding safe food handling practices, immunizing against infectious diseases, promoting healthy lifestyle habits (i.e., adequate rest/sleep, regular exercise), monitoring vital signs for changes in health status or abnormal readings, administering antibiotics as needed based on patient health history/needs, and providing clean bedding and clothing following hospital protocol. Additionally, nurses should be aware of laws that may affect infection prevention and control, such as the Centers for Disease Control’s hand hygiene regulations.

Nurse Care Plan For Infection

Diseases, medical conditions, and related nursing care plan for risk for infection and infection prevention and control:

  • Acute Glomerulonephritis
  • Acute Rheumatic Fever
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)
  • Congenital Heart Disease
  • Cryptorchidism
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Fracture
  • Geriatric Nursing
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Nephrotic Syndrome
  • Pneumonia
  • Spina Bifida
  • Surgery (Perioperative Client)
  • Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR)

When creating a nursing care plan for the risk of infection and infection control, the following should be included:

Nursing Assessment for Risk for Infection

1. Assess the patient for any potential risk factors, current injuries, or treatments that could leave them vulnerable to infection, such as:
  • wounds, abrasions, or surgical sites
  • any invasive lines like IVs, catheters, and drains.

These represent a breach in their body’s defenses and can be an entry point for germs.

2. Review the patient’s medications to see if they are taking any substances that may weaken the immune system, such as:
  • Antineoplastic agents
  • Corticosteroids
3. Monitor for signs of infection which may include:
  • Changes in urine or sputum
  • Fever
  • Redness, purulent, swelling, purulent drainage of areas of non-intact skin
  • Increased white blood cell count

Early detection of infection allows for swift treatment.

4. Assess the clients’ weight, serum albumin, and nutritional status, as malnutrition can decrease their immune capabilities and raise the risk of infection.

Risk of Infection Nursing Diagnosis:

There are no associated causes (etiological factors) for risk diagnoses since we are assessing a patient’s vulnerability to a potential problem before it has even manifested. Therefore we identify the risk factors predisposing the individual to a potential problem.

The correct statement for a NANDA-I infection nursing diagnosis would be: Risk for _____________ as evidenced by __________________________ (Risk Factors).

Risk Diagnosis Example: Risk for infection as evidenced by inadequate vaccination and immunosuppression (risk factor.

Subjective Data

  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Coughing
  • Pain
  • Chills
  • Sore throat

Objective Data

  • Fever
  • Tachycardia
  • BP changes
  • Elevated WBC count
  • Redness/swelling/heat/drainage from the wound

Nursing Outcomes

1. The patient will remain free from infection.

2. The patient will comply with infection control measures (e.g., handwashing, wearing a mask, avoiding contact with those infected).

3. The patient will be able to demonstrate proper wound care/catheter insertion technique and removal/sterile technique when applicable.

4. The patient will demonstrate an increased understanding of infection control practices. 

Nursing Interventions for Risk for Infection

Clean your hands and use an aseptic technique for nursing tasks involving non-intact skin or invasive lines. Hand washing and using an aseptic technique reduce the likelihood of transmitting pathogens to the patient that can cause infection.

  • Catheter insertion and catheter care
  • Central and PICC dressing changes and use
  • IV insertions and use
  • Wound or surgical site dressing changes
  • Monitor for changes in the patient’s health status and vital signs.
  • Teach the patient about proper hygiene, nutrition, and lifestyle habits that can help reduce their risk of infection.
  • Administer antibiotics based on patient health history/needs and follow medical orders.
  • Following hospital protocol, provide clean bedding and clothing to reduce the risk of cross-contamination from outside sources, such as other patients or staff members who may be carriers of pathogens.
  • Follow infection prevention and control laws, such as those set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
  • Ensure immunizations are up to date for all staff members who come into contact with patients to ensure that they are not bringing in any infectious diseases.


To prevent infection, it is important to take precautionary measures such as:

1. Maintaining good hygiene and proper sanitation techniques

2. Adhering to safe food handling practices

3. Ensuring immunizations are up-to-date for all staff members

4. Promoting healthy lifestyle habits, such as getting adequate rest and exercise

5. Monitoring vital signs for changes in health status or abnormal readings

6. Administering antibiotics when necessary, based on patient history and needs

7. Providing clean bedding and clothing by hospital protocol

8. Following laws regarding infection prevention and control set by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

9. Educating patients about proper hygiene and nutrition habits to reduce the risk of infection

10. Wearing protective equipment, such as gloves, masks, and gowns, when caring for patients with infections

11. Disposing of medical waste by local regulations

12. Implementing a quality assurance program that includes routine monitoring of infection control practices

13. Monitoring the environment for potential sources of contamination

14. Encourage staff to report any signs or symptoms of infection immediately

15. Using personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling body fluids, blood, and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM)

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