Nursing Care Plan for Vertigo

nursing care plan for vertigo

Do you need a nursing care plan for vertigo?

Vertigo or dizziness happens to all people. It refers to the spinning sensation patients feel inside their head that’s typically accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Because of the sensation, patients are often unable to sit or even balance themselves and that puts them at great risk for injury.

Before we share with you a few tips and tricks on how to write a nursing care plan for vertigo, here are some important information you need to understand first.


There are a handful of things that can cause vertigo. To make things simpler, vertigo can be categorized as peripheral or central vertigo.

Central causes happen in the spinal cord or brain while peripheral vertigo involves problems with the inner ear. It can be due to inflammation or the small crystals within the inner ear getting displaced and causing irritation to the small hair cells in the area.

A type of vertigo that’s accompanied by tinnitus and hearing loss, Meniere’s disease happens when fluid builds up within the inner ear. Low blood pressure, anxiety, and sudden low blood sugar can also trigger dizziness.

Signs and Symptoms

vertigo causes

You can easily recognize vertigo with the following signs and symptoms:

  • Nausea, vomiting or queasiness
  • Abnormal movements of the eyes
  • Headache
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Hearing loss
  • Sweating
  • Feeling unbalanced and pulled to one direction

If you are assigned to take care of a patient currently experiencing dizziness, here’s how you can write a nursing care plan for vertigo.

Risk for Falls

Risk factors:

  • Syncope
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Altered cerebral function secondary to hypoxia
  • Hearing difficulties
  • Impaired balance
  • Lack of awareness of environmental hazards secondary to confusion

Desired outcomes:

  • Patient doesn’t sustain injuries
  • Patient doesn’t suffer from a fall
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess conditions that can increase the patient’s level of fall risk, such as a history of falls, changes in mental status, sensory deficits, balance, medications, and symptoms related to diseases.Proper assessment helps determine needed fall precautions.
Have the patient wear a wristband identification to remind healthcare providers to implement fall precautions.Enables healthcare providers to identify patients at an increased risk for falls.
Keep the patient’s bedside free from anything he can hit his head on.This reduces the risk of further injuries if a fall does occur.
Place the call light within the patient’s easy reach and encourage to call for assistance immediately.It prevents the patient from getting out of bed on his own and without assistance.
Make sure to keep the patient’s bed is in the lowest position. Keep it as adjacent to the floor as possible.Positioning the bed this way dramatically reduces fall risk.
Use side rails on the bed whenever needed and avoid using restraints.Use of restraints doesn’t reduce the risk of falls.
Move the patient to a room that’s near the nurses’ station.Moving the patient to a nearby location enables healthcare providers to observe the patient and provide immediate treatment when necessary.
Teach the patient to move slowly, like sitting up slowly and taking a few minutes before standing up.Sudden movements can trigger dizziness.
Encourage family members and relatives to remain with the patient at all times.This prevents the patient from accidentally falling.

Impaired transfer ability

vertigo symptoms

Related to:

  • Perceptual impairment
  • Postural instability when performing routine activities of daily living

Desired outcomes:

  • Patient shows ability to use safety measures to minimize risk for injury
  • Patient performs activities within the limitations of his capabilities
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess the degree of impairment using the 0-4 functional level classification.Provides baseline data.
Provide a safe environment by keeping bed rails up, maintaining bed in a low position, and keeping bedside free from clutter.It ensures the safety and reduces the risk for falls.
Allow the patient to perform tasks at his or her own pace.Hurrying the patient only him or her more prone to injuries.
Encourage patient to move slowly.Sudden movements can trigger dizziness.
Encourage the patient to seek assistance as necessary. Place the call light on his bedside.This maintains the patient’s sense of control and reduces the fear of feeling isolated.
Give medications as ordered.Anti-vertigo drugs help reduce dizziness as well as the associated nausea and vomiting.

Nursing Interventions for Vertigo:

Assess and Monitor:

  • Perform a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s symptoms, including the duration, frequency, and triggers of vertigo episodes.
  • Monitor vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate, as well as any changes during and after episodes of vertigo.
  • Observe the patient’s gait, balance, and coordination during ambulation.
  • Assess for any associated symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), or hearing loss.

Provide Safety and Comfort:

  • Ensure a safe environment by removing potential hazards and obstacles.
  • Assist the patient with positioning changes slowly to prevent sudden movements that may trigger vertigo.
  • Offer support and stability when the patient is walking or transferring.
  • Use non-slip mats or flooring in the patient’s room and bathroom.
  • Implement fall prevention strategies, such as providing handrails or grab bars.
  • Use proper lighting to enhance visibility and reduce disorientation.

Medication Management:

  • Administer medications as prescribed by the healthcare provider, such as anti-vertigo drugs (e.g., antihistamines, benzodiazepines, or antiemetics) to alleviate symptoms.
  • Educate the patient about the purpose, dosage, possible side effects, and any precautions associated with their medications.
  • Monitor the patient for adverse reactions or interactions with other medications.

Positioning and Movement Techniques:

  • Teach the patient techniques to minimize dizziness and maintain balance, such as the Epley maneuver or Brandt-Daroff exercises, as appropriate.
  • Encourage the patient to avoid sudden head movements or abrupt changes in position that may exacerbate vertigo.
  • Recommend using pillows or elevating the head of the bed during sleep to reduce positional vertigo symptoms.

Education and Lifestyle Modifications:

  • Educate the patient about vertigo, its causes, and management strategies.
  • Provide information about triggers to avoid, such as certain head positions, bright lights, or loud noises.
  • Encourage the patient to practice stress-reduction techniques, such as relaxation exercises or meditation, as stress can worsen vertigo symptoms.
  • Advise the patient to limit or avoid alcohol consumption, as it can affect the inner ear and worsen symptoms.
  • Recommend maintaining a balanced diet and adequate hydration, as dehydration and certain dietary factors may contribute to vertigo.

Collaborative Care:

  • Collaborate with the healthcare team, including physicians, physical therapists, and audiologists, to ensure comprehensive management of the patient’s vertigo.
  • Refer the patient for further evaluation and specialized interventions, such as vestibular rehabilitation therapy, if necessary.
  • Communicate any changes or concerns in the patient’s condition to the healthcare provider for appropriate follow-up.

We hope you can use this nursing care plan for vertigo in your clinicals.