The main concepts learned in the priority setting framework in nursing included Maslow’s hierarchy of needs ordering it from the lowest to the top of the pyramid, starting with physiological needs, safety and security, love and belonging, self-esteem, and then self-actualization at the top. The second concept explored was the nursing process both for RN and for PN. The RN’s one is a five-step process including assessment, analysis, planning, implementation, and evaluation. While LPN uses four steps such as data collection, planning, performance, and evaluation. The difference is that analyzing client’s situation goes only for RN. Each step is based on a decision from the previous step, so the first assessment should be collected accurately.
The concept of airway breathing and circulation (ABC) assessment was explored. Nurses must prioritize assessing a client’s airway, breathing, and circulation since they are of significant risk to the patient. In this framework, the airway has the highest priority, as it must be open and transparent. The second top priority goes to breathing which is essential for oxygen exchange. It sometimes may need artificial respiration. The last importance goes to circulation. Heart rate and BP lie in this category within the expected reference range for cardiac, cerebral, and peripheral perfusion. It was also stated that dictating the order of care in emergencies helps recognize the early signs of complication.
The Safety and risk reduction priority framework was also explored, where nurses are required to prioritize the risks based on the risks posed to your client. The types of threats are divided into two groups, which are external risks and internal. The client’s care focus of this framework is providing access to the exterior (complete risk assessment) and internal (ABC combined with safety and risk reduction) factors. An example of this framework is safety ambulation for hip replacement patients. The concept of the minor restrictive/least invasive priority framework on intervention was explored, where nurses are required to choose the interventions that are less invasive and restrictive to the client. The concept of survival potentials was explored where nurses are needed to prioritize clients based on their survival potentials during resource limiting conditions and in the event of mass casualty. Clients are divided depending on their situations in four categories. These types are emergent (class I), urgent (class II), nonurgent (class III), and expectant (class IV). The highest priority has people with severe injuries from these categories, while people least likely to survive are the lowest importance. Such dividing into priority groups helps in using the resources appropriately, which saves a higher number of lives.
Other concepts were acute over chronic in health, urgent versus nonurgent needs and unstable versus unstable clients, and most of all, client focus care. Critical needs may pose more to treat due to chronic attending to alteration in the acute phase before they evolve into chronic. While talking about unstable vs. stable clients, it should be stated that unstable clients have needs that threaten clients’ survival. Using the ABC’s clients become unstable the higher priority. An example of this can become acute asthma vs. chronic emphysema, where acute asthma is of importance. Urgent needs pose more threat when related to intervention needed within a specified time. All these frameworks and concepts are valuable to nurses when making their clinical judgments and decisions for care.