Nursing Taxonomy or Classification

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Classification or Nursing Taxonomy

Nursing Taxonomy or Classification

Whats is Nursing Taxonomy,Synonyms of Taxonomy,Need of Nursing Classification,Clinical Judgement ,Nursing Interventions Classification(NIC),Nursing Outcomes Classification(NOC)

Whats is Nursing Taxonomy

    A taxonomy is an organizing structure for a set of concepts/terms that helps identify relationships among the concepts and facilitates use of the concepts. Taxonomy is defined aby Fleishman and Quintanses (1984) as “the theoretical study of systematic classifications including their bases, principles, procedures, and rules; the science of how to classify and identify” (p. 22). 

Synonyms of Taxonomy

    In recent years the word taxonomy is heard more often in nursing as the use of nursing knowledge classifications (eg, classifications of nursing diagnoses, interventions, and outcomes). It is helpful to distinguish the term “taxonomy” from other related terms:

Standardized language: agreed upon terms for specific objects/conditions/actions, with definitions; also called common language.

Classification: a set of concepts/terms that brings sense and some structure to some part of reality; sometimes used interchangeably with taxonomy although it is preferable to think of the taxonomy as the organizing structure for a classification's terms.

Aristotelian Classification: has binary characteristics-present or not present; used in biology, geology, and physics; two types: a monothetic classification has a single set of conditions whereas a polythetic classification has a number of shared characteristics (Bowker & Star, 1999).

Prototype Classification: a broad picture is created and this picture is extended by metaphor and analogy; a best example is called up to see if there is a reasonable resemblance (Bowker & Star, 1999); Used more in sociolinguistics, anthropology, and nursing.

Standards: a set of agreed upon rules for the production of objects; help to make things work together over distance; have significant inertia and can be difficult and expensive to change (Bowker & Star, 1999).

Terminology: words for concepts, the vocabulary; can be the same as standardized language if the terms are agreed upon and have standardized definitions; sometimes used interchangeably with classification although it is preferable to think of the terms as the vocabulary within a classification.

 Need of Nursing Classification

    Naming and classifying are necessary for communication and for creating order in our lives. Look around your home or office and notice the ad hoc, often unnoticeable classifications; for example, dirty and clean dishes, important mail separated from junk mail, books in a bookshelf organized by topics. 

    The nursing classifications identify and organize nursing knowledge; they make visible the work of nurses. The standardized nursing language in these classifications allows only sing to fit into existing health care memory systems, such as Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine (SNOMED) or the information systems in health care agencies. 

    An excellent reference about classification is the book by Bowker and Star (1999), Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences. Chapters in this book include information and analysis of the International Classification of Disease (ICD), the race classification under apartheid in South Africa, the classification of viruses and tuberculosis, and the Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC)

    The terms defined above. The term “taxonomy” is being used here to mean an organizing structure for a classification. In nursing in the United States, there are three comprehensives (across all settings and specialties), clinically useable (have terms that clinicians can plan and document care with), and current (have an ongoing submission and review system in place) clinical nursing classifications : NANDA, NIC, and NOC. 

    Each of these classifications is organized in its own taxonomy as well as a common taxonomy, the Taxonomy of Nursing Practice. Each has a similar structure composed of Domains (the top, most abstract level) and Classes (the second level of the taxonomy, less abstract than the top domain level, in which the concepts of diagnoses, interventions, or outcomes are grouped). 

    Each of the four taxonomies is overviewed briefly below. North American Nursing Diagnosis Association (NANDA) Taxonomy 2.

Clinical Judgement 

    Diagnoses are clinical judgments about individual, family, and community responses to problems or life processes that provide the basis for selection of nursing interventions to achieve outcomes for which the nurse is accountable. The NANDA Taxonomy 2 (NANDA, 2003) was approved for adoption by the NANDA members at their conference in April 2000. 

    It consists of 13 domains (eg, Health Promotion, Nutrition) and 46 classes (eg, Health Awareness, Ingestion). Each domain and class have a definition and a total of 155 diagnoses are included at the third level of the taxonomy.

Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC)

    Interventions are treatments performed based upon clinical judgment and knowledge to enhance patient outcomes. The NIC taxonomy (McCloskey & Bulechek, 2004) consists of seven domains (eg, Physiological: Basic, Behavioral) and 30 classes (eg, Activity and Exercise Management, Coping Assistance). 

    Each domain and class have a definition. The 514 interventions are placed in the classes at the third level of the taxonomy.

Nursing Outcomes Classification (NOC)

    Outcomes are measurable individual, family, or community states, behaviors, or perceptions influenced by and responsive to nursing interventions. The NOC taxonomy (Moorhead, Johnson, & Maas, 2004) consists of seven domains (eg, Functional Health, Physiologic Health) and 31 classes (eg, Energy Maintenance, Growth & Development). 

    Each domain and class have a definition. The 260 outcomes are placed in the classes at the third level of the taxonomy.


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