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DQ 1 : Describe the difference between a nursing practice problem and a medical practice problem

NRS 433 Topic 1 DQ 1

DQ 1  Describe the difference between a nursing practice problem and a medical practice problem

PICOT is utilized by the health care community to identify and study a nursing or medical practice
problem. Consequently, PICOT examples that may provide insight into the use of the PICOT process,
may not be relevant to nursing practice as they are based on a medical practice problem.
Describe the difference between a nursing practice problem and a medical practice problem. Provide
one example of each. Discuss why is it important to ensure your PICOT is based on a nursing practice

Evidence based practice is a process used to review and analyze scientific evidence into to everyday practice and clinical decision making. Nurses uses EBP to provide safety, give quality care, and improve outcome of the patient overall experience.

The difference between nursing practice problems and a medical practice problem are as follow: Nurse deals with modalities of patient care. This type of practice entails comfort, support, promotion of recovery, prevention of trauma (such as falls), health screenings (diabetes, hypertension, etc.…), assessment, health education, and coordination of care. (Selecting a clinical nursing problem for research – wiley online library)


Medical practice problems entail the complexity of the patient medical condition or disease. They also identify the condition of the patient, cause, prognosis, and treat the problem. Example identifying a patient who is diagnose with cancer, the disease will be identified and addressed according. Should the patient receive chemotherapy versus surgery? Will the treatment be set up on an outpatient bases or inpatient?


It is important that PICOT is incorporated in nursing practice because as nurses we need to identify the patient problem, understand, or know what intervention will work best for caring for the patient. Comparison of which treatment will be more effective. Was the outcome accomplished after giving the treatment? How long did it take for the patient to received desired outcome.




Cristancho S, Lingard L, Regehr G. From problem solving to problem definition: scrutinizing the complex nature of clinical practice. Perspect Med Educ. 2017 Feb;6(1):54-57. doi: 10.1007/s40037-016-0314-0. PMID: 27921218; PMCID: PMC5285274.

Click here to ORDER an A++ paper from our Verified MASTERS and DOCTORATE WRITERS: DQ 1 : Describe the difference between a nursing practice problem and a medical practice problem

Grand Canyon University (Ed). (2018). Nursing research: Understanding methods for best practice. Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs433v/nursing-research-understanding-methods-for-best-practice/v1.1

Selecting a clinical nursing problem for research – wiley online library. (n.d.). Retrieved July 28, 2022, from https://sigmapubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1547-5069.1984.tb01388.x

Gale Storm-Bryant
Posted Date
Apr 13, 2022, 7:44 PM
Nurses practice revolves around the nursing process (Toney—Butler, Thayer, 2021). Nurses practice
revolves around the improvement of the patient and the care process. It resembles the PICOT in many

DQ 1  Describe the difference between a nursing practice problem and a medical practice problem

DQ 1  Describe the difference between a nursing practice problem and a medical practice problem

ways like the intervention/would be the planning process, the comparison/would be the
implementation and the outcome /would be the evaluation. PICOT is used to develop the question
needed to be researched and answered with evidence (Helbig, 2018) and the nursing process steps
provide answers in the evaluation phase. The difference between a nursing or medical practice problem,
nurses practice works to improve patient care and medical provides the cause or pathology of the
patient. Nurses must practice within their scope of practice (OP, 2010). It is important for nurses to
ensure their PICOT is based on nursing care and not a diagnosis. Nursing diagnosis is different from
diagnosing a patient's health issue for treatment as doctors do. Nurses must remain within their scope
of practice.
PICOT question is the first step in evidence-based practice, and many times the question is written
poorly. It should not be written in past tense, its used to help search for the best evidence to answer the
question (Gallagher Ford, 2019). It has been noted that there is difficulty in finding quality information
and at times we lack the skills to evaluate the literature. There is a evidence-based research tool (EBR)
which improved the ability of nursing students to find and review articles and correctly apply the PICOT
(Long, et al., 2016).

An example of a nursing PICOT:
P: Patient – Adults 65 and over with constipation
I: Intervention – Encourage to exercise 45 min per day
C: Comparison – Patients who do not exercise
O: Outcome – Increased bowel movements in a week

T: Time Frame – 1 month

An example of a medical PICOT:
P: Patient – 65-year-old complaining of knee pain
I: Intervention – MRI
C: Comparison – MRI of normal knee
O: Outcome – Diagnosis of Arthritis
T: Time Frame – 2 weeks


Gallagher Ford, L., & Melnyk, B. M. (2019). The Underappreciated and Misunderstood PICOT Question:
Critical Step in the EBP Process. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, 16(6), 422–423. https://doi-

Helbig, J. (2018). History and Process of Nursing Research, Evidence-Based Nursing Practice, and
and Qualitative Research Process. Grand Canyon University (Eds.), Nursing Research:
Understanding Methods for Best Practices. https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs433v/nursing-research-

Long, J. D., Gannaway, P., Ford, C., Doumit, R., Zeeni, N., Sukkarieh, H. O., Milane, A., Byers, B., Harrison,
L., Hatch, D., Brown, J., Proper, S., White, P., & Song, H. (2016). Effectiveness of a technology‐based
intervention to teach evidence‐based practice: The EBR tool. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing,
13(1), 59–65. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/wvn.12132

Office of Professions (OP), (2010, June 18th). Education Law. Article 139, Nursing

Toney-Butler TJ, Thayer JM. [Updated 2021 Jul 9]. Nursing Process. StatPearls [Internet].

Wanda Felder
Posted Date
Apr 10, 2022, 6:59 PM

Remember to complete your PICOT, by including each of the elements listed in the image below.

Tamara Houston
Posted Date
Apr 7, 2022, 6:19 AM
Replies to Gale Storm-Bryant
PICOT is a method used when developing a quality improvement project or lead to EBP (Helbig, 2018).  It
breaks down to five parts Patients/problem, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome, and Time which is
used to develop a question to hypothesize changes that can be made in nursing or medical practice for
patient improvement. Nursing practice problems are problems that occur during routine nursing
practice as it relates to the patient’s condition. A medical practice problem is one that occurs with the
disease process of a patient involving the medical condition or disease.
An example of a nursing practice problem would be
P: Hospital Staff
I: Hand Sanitizer
C: Handwashing using soap and water
O: Minimize the spread of hospital acquired infection
T:  3 consecutive months

An example of a medical practice problem would be:
P: Post op patient

I: Prophylactic Antibiotic Therapy
C: Pre-Op & Post Op Antibiotic therapy
O: Reduction of Surgical Site infection
T: Three consecutive months

It is important to ensure a PICOT is based on a nursing practice problem to prevent practicing in the
scope of medicine by way of conducting a clinical research study versus an evidence-based practice
project. Research questions are posed with the intention of generating new knowledge or verifying that
published findings are reproducible (Zuzelo, 2018). Nurses use evidence-based practice to provide
patients with safe, quality care and to improve outcomes (Helbig, 2018). The goal is to improve nursing
processes that produce safe patient outcomes during nursing care.

Helbig, J. (2018). History and process of nursing research, evidence-based nursing practice, and
quantitative and qualitative research process. Nursing research: Understanding methods for best
practice. https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs433v/nursing-research-understanding-methods-for-best-

Zuzelo, Patti Rager (2018) Evidence-based practice methodology. Holistic Nursing Practice: Volume 32
(6)- p 340-342 doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000297. Retrieved
from https://journals.lww.com/hnpjournal/Citation/2018/11000/Evidence_Based_Practice_Methodolog

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