What Is Nursing Intervention? - Definition & Examples

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  • 0:45 Classification
  • 1:24 Example
  • 1:57 Types
  • 3:31 How Do We Select…
  • 4:06 Did It Work?
  • 4:38 Why Nursing…
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Terri Higdon
Let's learn more about nursing interventions. In this lesson, we will cover the definition, the classifications and the different types of interventions that are available in the nursing profession.

What Does Intervention Mean?

What do you think of when you hear the word intervention? You might have heard the term used in regards to efforts made to help those with drug and/or alcohol problems. You may also be familiar with it as a television program. While that is a commonly used meaning of the word, in the nursing world it has a broader meaning.

When nurses care for patients they follow the nursing process. This includes making a plan and setting goals for the patient. Nursing interventions are the actual treatments and actions that are performed to help the patient to reach the goals that are set for them. The nurse uses his or her knowledge, experience and critical thinking skills to decide which interventions will help the patient the most.


There are different classifications of nursing interventions that can involve care of the entire patient. This can be anything from promoting bowel functioning, educating the patient on new medication side-effects or just keeping the patient safe. Interventions can be focused on basic physiological needs, complex physiological needs, behavioral functioning, promoting safety, caring for the family, using the health system and/or the overall health of the community. As nurses, we are caring for the total patient, so there are can be interventions concerning every area of the patient's life.

Example of Nursing Intervention

To get a sense of how interventions work, let's take the case of an imaginary patient, Mrs. James. Mrs. James has recently been admitted into the hospital. She is a 72-year-old female with a blood pressure reading of 200/100. She is complaining of a headache and dizziness. We are going to learn some of the nursing interventions that we could provide while caring for Mrs. James. Now, let's see how different types of nursing interventions might be applied to Mrs. James.

Types of Nursing Interventions

Some of the nursing interventions will require a doctor's order and some will not. There are different types of interventions: independent, dependent and interdependent. Let's learn about each and go over a few examples:

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