Table of Contents
- 1. List the reasons that physiological observations (pulse, temperature, blood pressure, breathing, oxygen saturation and blood glucose) are measured on patients/clients within a hospital/community setting.
- 2. What should you do if you find that a patient’s observations are different to the ones recorded previously?
- 3. Breathing Observations
What is the importance of monitoring a patient’s/client’s breathing?
What is pulse oximetry?
When do you measure peak flow?
What do the terms BREATHLESS and DYSPNOEA mean?
How can you measure ‘’DIFFICULTY IN BREATHING’’?
- 4. What are the immediate actions for someone who is having difficulty with breathing?
- 5. Temperature
5.1 How does the environment affect body temperature? Why is this important in a child or an older person?
5.2 Make a list of signs and symptoms that you may observe if a patient/client has i) a high temperature ii) a low temperature?
How might an ‘abnormal’ temperature present itself in a child or an older person?
|Patient||Signs & symptoms of high temperature||Signs & symptoms of low temperature|
|Child||Skin hot to touch, sweating. Dehydration, restlessness, drowsiness, febrile convulsions, increased thirsty, increased pulse and respiratory rate, loss of appetite||
Shivering (initially), drop in body temperature below 360 C. pale, cold and waxy skin, altered consciousness,
tachycardia followed by bradycardia, low urine output, dehydration, ataxia, shallow breathing, coma
|Older person||Increased heart and respiration rates, restlessness, drowsiness, loss of appetite, feeling cold, sweating, shivering, increased thirst, increased pulse rate, weakness and malaise.||Shivering initially, hypotension, confusion, cold and pale skin, feeling of cold and chilly, bradycardia, weak pulse, muscle stiffness and incardination, decreased urine output, coma.|
5.3 What actions would you take in the above situations? Hint: think about comfort measures and possible medications that might be prescribed.
IN CASE OF FEVER/HYPERTHERMIA
- Expose the patient or lighten the clothing to facilitate heat loss;
- Do tepid sponge bathing to promote heat loss from the body;
- Administer antipyretics e.g. paracetamol to relief fever and pain;
- Give the patient plenty of fluids to counter dehydration and meet the increased metabolic demand;
- Move one from the hot environment;
- Discourage activities that raise the metabolic rate and promote rest.
INCASE OF HYPOTHERMIA
- Cover the patient with blankets;
- Administer warm oral or intravenous fluids;
- Provide warm environment;
- Apply warming pads
|3 things to monitor for||3 areas where pulse is most easily palpated|
1. Heart Rate
1. Radial Area
2. Carotid Area
3. Temporal Area
7. What is anxiety? How would you know if a patient was anxious? What would be your actions if you assessed a person to be anxious?
− A state of dread or fear of impending, perceived or imagined threat (stressor).
Signs and symptoms
− Restlessness, palpitations, headache, shortness of breath, GIT disturbances, sweating, fatigue, tachycardia, trembling, papillary dilation.
− The anxious person should be made to relax/rest by providing a calm environment free of stressors.
− Make the patient perform deep-breathing exercises to improve gas exchange.
− Help an individual to participate in the pleasurable activities e.g. listening to music, watching a movie or football to divert his/her attention from the stimulus causing anxiety.
− Psychotherapy improves tolerance of the patient to stimulus causing anxiety.
− Eliminate/control any identified underlying cause.
− Advice the patient to avoid taking substances that might worsen anxiety by stimulating the central nervous system e.g. caffeine.
− Involve people who are close to him/her to provide psychological support.
− Anxiolytics e.g. diazepam are administered to calm the patient and allay anxiety.
Ways in which I could develop my knowledge and skills include: (give 3 examples) 8. Student self-assessment (skill: observation)
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