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9 Tips on How To Make a Good SOAPIE

Nurses notes or SOAPIE, SOAP, SOAPIERS, SOI, are like integrated within a nurses DNA but
some of student nurses are still learning the right way on how to make a good SOAPIE.
This post will give you some tips on how to do so.

1. Assess, assess, assess.

Say that fast three times. Keep in mind that assessment is the base of a SOAPIE. To have a
good assessment (and not to stick with pinkish palpebral conjunctiva and CRT ^^), be aware
of the medical diagnosis of yo ur patient.

For example, you have a patient who was diagnosed of congestive heart failure or heart
failure. If its your first time to encounter the disease try to read before hand (thats why you
have to bring a handy-dandy handbook about diseases). Try to recall as much as possible
what could be the manifestations of a patient with heart disease. Start first with the fact
that it affects the heart then narrow your assessment down.

Let say you know that heart failure can be left-sided and right-sided. For right-sided HF, I
know that it there is systemic edema, so I w ould assess for edema. I also know that there
are changes in the hearts pumping ability, thus I would assess for regularity of the pulses
bilaterally. As for the left -sided HF, I know that there is pulmonary congestion thus I would
assess for DOB, breath sounds (your favorite assessment), and etc.
If so you would know the signs and symptoms of a patient with CHF and thus you would
assess for them (central cyanosis, jugular vein distention, edema, DOB, rhythm of pulses
and etc).

Assessment is like a line from a song it takes a lot of getting used to . But dont be
discouraged, thats why you are a nursing student, you are still in the peak of learning.
Make it a habit that you do an appropriate and close to detailed assessment.

2. Know what your doing

Also make it a point that you know what to assess before your interact with your patient,
instead of going back to the patients room q5 mins just to ask whether he voided or
whether the palpebral conjunctiva is pink. Dont be a disturbance to a patient who is

3. NANDA out!
If its your first time to write a SOAPIE, its okay to use the NANDA, but if your a 4th year
and you would be graduating in the next (lets say) 2 weeks shame on you. (For those who
doesnt know what NANDA is, it is the best friend and most overused book by a nursing

So going back, if its your first semester for your hospital exposure, go ahead use your
NANDA and remember the cues, the related factors, the interventions and what would you
want the patient achieve.

Dont be NANDA dependent, nandammit!

4. Stop Using Acute Pain

Its quite a good idea that some instruc tors would disallow the nursing diagnosis of
acute pain. My head aches (acute pain), I feel like theres an elephant in my chest
(acute pain), my tummy feels like twisting (acute pain) and yes there are a lot of
instances where acute pain be used that is why if NANDA would write down specifically all
the related factors it would be as thick as the MS book of Joyce Black.

5. choose a better nursing diagnosis!

At the back portion of the NANDA, theres a list of medical diagnoses and their possible
nursing diagnoses and their related factors, make sure to browse that. Make sure that you
have an appropriate nursing diagnosis for your patient. Here are some key points:

Your nursing diagnosis shoul d be strongly supported by your assessment cues

It should be patient centered (as most of the time)

and it should follow a format like the diagnosis -related factor-cues

Some nursing diagnoses can stand alone even without related factors like Hyperthermia.
Although these type of diagnoses are limited to SOAPIEs and not on care plans.

6. Planning should be SMART and PtC

Planning is also what we know as goal setting. This is where you ask wha t would I want my
patient to achieve? Goals or plans should be SMART:

Specific and Measurable . End your planning with AEB and then cues that you would assess
to confirm whether you have achieved your goal. Example: the patient will establish
airway patency as evidenced by (AEB) effective respirations, respiratory rate within normal
range and demonstration of deep breathing exercises and effective coughing exercises.

Attainable and Realistic. A case with severe pneumonia: After 1 hour of NI the patient
will establish normal respiration AEB. This is quite unattainable (go figure).

Time Bound. Make sure that the time youve put in your planning is enough to achieve your
desired outcomes.

Be patient centered as much as possible. The patient is at the center of planning because
he/she is the chief decision maker of what treatment plans he/she would allow. You patient
is not the significant other. Be cautious of also using the phrase verbalize understanding
of to pediatric patients. Also, dont restrict your planning or goals on whats written on

7. Interventions
You can start with established rapport, then assess the general condition, monitor the vital
signs and thenyou can start writing the real interventions in your SOAPIE.

Make sure that all assessment -like interventions should be within the first few lines of your

Note that the assessment-like interventions are at the first few lines
interventions. Assessment -like interventions are those interventions wherein you would say
that you assessed for this and that like monitored hydration status, auscultated bowel
sounds, assessed neuro vital signs.

The rest of your interventions should be next. Dont ever, ever forget to shift to past
tense. Put dependent nursing interventions last like administered medications.

Also remember some templates for interventions like Above IVF consumed hooked #2
D5LRS 1L, hooked O2 inhalation regulated at 2 -3 LPM via nasal canula and
especially seen on rounds by Dr. Xyz with orders made and carried out:

And lastly, always make sure to add in your interventions the explanation of the disease of
the client. A good student nurse knows the importance and impact of health education to the
prognosis of the patient.

8. Horray! Evaluation.
Finally, we have arrived at the evaluation. Was your planning or goal met? partially met? or
not met? How would you assess whether they were met? Simple. If you have made a good
planning it should have ended with AEB and then their corresponding cues. These cues are
your parameter whether you have met your goal.

As for the example above was your able to manifest effective respiration and rate within
normal range? deep breathing and coughing exercises?
9. And to Top it all up
I hope you have enjoyed and learned a lot by reading this post. If you liked this please
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And lastly, here is an example S OAPIE, with all the things you have learned above can you
comment whats wrong with this SOAPIE?

S > (none) O> Received pt sitting in bed conscious and coherent, with IVF of #7 D5W 1L
infusing well on the right metacarpal vein regulated 30 gtts/min at 300 cc level, without
signs of phlebitis or infiltrations. O2 inhalation therapy via NC regulated @ 2LPM pt appears
fatigued and weak, pt is acyanotic, without pallor, without edema, with pink conjunctiva,
moist mucous membranes, capillary refill less than 3 seconds, poor skin turgor, pt has cough
with lung fields clear upon auscultation, with chest pain provoked with activity, pts heart
rate is irregular and bradycardic, with ecchymosis on L forearm, vital signs taken as follows:
BP 90/50 48 22cpm 36.7

A > Decreased cardiac output R/T altered heart rate

P> After 4-5 hours of NI the patient will be able to identify health interventions that will
decrease cardiac workload of the heart

I >

Established rapport

Monitored and recorded VS q1

Provided AM care

Positioned pt in fowlers bed rest to allow easy respiratory function

Reinforced low sodium and low fat diet

Instructed pt to limit oral fluid intake

Arranged and straightened linens

Provided privacy, comfort and safety measures

Provided adequate rest periods

Assisted pts SO with pts ADLs

Instructed pt to avoid strenuous activities that may stimulate Valsava maneuver

Due available meds given as ordered

Seen on rounds by Dr. N with orders given and carried out as follows:

Atrophine sulfate amp administered SIVP

E> Goal met AEB pt was able to identify health interventions that would allow decrease in
cardiac work load.