Nursing is one of the oldest professions in the world. While many nursing practices have gone obsolete with time, several new ones have replaced them. Technological advancements, scientific studies, and recent findings continue to evolve nursing. Still, the primary motive of nursing remains the same; to provide care to the patients.
Nurses put in earnest efforts to provide patients with the best care and often work for grueling hours. Still, they mostly display their broad smile and exhibit a gentle aura.
In This Article
Nursing Health Assessment
Nursing health assessment is a valuable tool that helps nurses set the course of their future actions. A thorough assessment of patients includes descriptions of patients’ symptoms, causes behind these signs, and a process to determine physical findings to reach the diagnosis.
Nurses obtain these bits of information directly from patients and use their observational skills to add to their notes and assess patients’ conditions. Several nurses bond with patients while dealing with them and calm their nerves through painful diagnostic processes.
Nurses can practice and adopt a health assessment method to eliminate other surprises from their duties. Changing the assessment method often will neither help them gain command nor make them perform with proficiency.
Below are some tips for a better nursing health evaluation:
1. Obtain Patients’ History
The first step for nursing health assessment is to obtain patients’ history and insight into their previous health issues. Taking patients’ history into account helps nurses understand patients’ conditions, and sometimes, it reveals the causes of diseases. Several nurses enroll in advanced degrees to enhance their earning opportunities and earn nursing health assessment skills.
After acquiring the latest degrees, they often inquire what can i do with a bsn and use the newly acquired skills. A higher degree gives nurses in-depth insight and equips them with tools to gather information about patients’ past medical issues.
2. Take Vital Signs
Nurses have to take patients’ vital signs on every visit to track patients’ health. Moreover, nurses can administer some medication in only certain conditions; otherwise, it can prove detrimental for patients. Fluctuations in blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol level, and high and low heartbeats are common health problems. Patients suffering from certain different diseases or injuries often go through them. Nurses often feel that they can ignore this aspect as it consumes time.
Besides, for some patients, vitals do not change frequently. They must speed up their process but avoid the crucial factor and measure vital signs on their visits.
3. Focus on the Visible Signs
While assessing patients, nurses must look at the visible signs by observing patients’ skin, face, hands, and feet. If patients have some scars or wounds, they can see the change in them to determine if the medication has any effect.
Nurses must check general skin conditions and focus on appearance, color, and temperature. Some patients develop swelling, several start having bedsores, and sometimes some medications result in skin rashes. Visible signs are a huge indication if the prescribed medication is improving health or not. Unless patients have some skin condition, a separate skin assessment is not necessary.
However, if patients have some wounds and injuries, then nurses must examine the wound thoroughly. Sometimes, patients have visible symptoms of diseases that help nurses conclude a diagnosis.
4. Check Consciousness
Another crucial aspect of nursing health valuation is to check patients’ consciousness. Nurses can talk to their patients and pay attention to their responses to check their consciousness levels. They must use auscultation, visualization, and palpation to assess patients’ cognition.
Nurses can ask patients about their health and the reason behind admittance to a hospital to check their retaining and cognitive skills. Supposedly, nurses’ initial assessment shows that patients are unconscious. In that case, they must perform steps for a neurovascular check.
Nurses must observe patients’ facial expressions while they speak. In addition, they should take their penlight to check pupils while they inquire about contacts and cataracts.
5. Examine the Whole Body
Patients may not have any apparent signs of bruises but might have some internal issues. Nurses must start their examination from the head and come to the chest to check the heartbeat. They can examine patients’ arms and then torso. Using a stethoscope, nurses should check bowel sounds before they move further down. Nurses must be careful while reviewing the torso as patients may have a pacemaker, dressings, or a subclavian central line.
While moving to the arms and feet, nurses must make patients move both arms and use their muscles to see if they have aches or have some swelling. Nurses give special attention to patients’ legs if patients have diabetes. Some patients may have Foley catheters, and nurses must see if there are rashes or itching. Making patients sit, nurses must know the skin’s appearance and check breathing sounds from the back.
6. Inspect the Specific Area
Many patients get admitted due to specific illnesses or have injuries in some body parts. Nurses need to stop and conduct a thorough examination of the particular area. They must have their tools, such as a penlight, tweezers, and other medical supplies handy to perform any action if the need arises. Nursing health assessment requires them to physically examine the patient’s wound and update their charts as per their evaluations.
Nursing health assessment is a valuable skill that can help nurses climb the ladder of success. Nurses must devise an evaluation method and stick to it. Changing the technique frequently prevents nurses from gaining command over it, and they often forget some aspect of the methods. Nurses must not forget to evaluate patients’ history as it is crucial and helps them assess patients’ conditions.
Nurses often have to deal with plenty of patients, and devising a technique allows them to evaluate patients quickly. While they can speed up the procedure, they need to be careful not to let anything miss out on their eyes. Nurses can try several tips to acquire the skill and perform their job efficiently.