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Assessment of Vital SIgns - Essay Example

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Howard, a 78 year old obese Caucasian female into my unit. Ms. Howard, who is being admitted for sepsis and hypertension, appears to be short of breath when I meet her in…
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Assessment of Vital SIgns
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Assessment of Vital SIgns

After a brief interview, the patient reveals the cause of her short breath and explains she deliberately avoided the escalator on her way to the examination room and took a walk up the stairs (following the doctors’ advice to exercise some more). I allow her approximately 15 minutes to calm down then provide her with a gown and leave the room for her to change after instructing her to remove all her dressing except the briefs and put on the gown so that the opening is on the rear. The examination room is quiet, warm and well lit. All the measurements are taken with the patient seated down (McPhee & Papadakis, 2011).
Since the patient has been allowed over 10 minutes to calm down and has not eaten or drank anything hot or cold, smoked, chewed gum in the last 10 minutes, I proceed to assess her temperature. I place a digital thermometer under her tongue to take an oral temperature and wait for it to beep before withdrawing it. I then note the patient’s temperature as indicated by the thermometer, part of the body from where it is taken and the time it was taken (McPhee, Papadakis, & Rabow, 2012).
To find the patient’s pulse, I use my fingers (without the thumb) to press against the bony part of the patient’s wrist. Pressing the artery between the fingers and the wrist bone assists me to feel the pulse. Care is taken not to press too hard. Upon finding a pulse, I use a timer to count the number of beats that occur in a minute (since the pulse appears irregular). I then write down the heart rate, the irregularities observed and the time the pulse is taken (Crouch & Meurier, 2011).
I then go on to assess the respiration without informing my patient since her knowledge of an on-going respiration assessment may inevitably cause her to alter her respiration and hence lead to erroneous conclusions. I count the ... Read More
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