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Patient deterioration: how to assess risk and take timely action

Advice from three highly experienced nurses, who draw on a complex mix of clinical skills, knowledge – and gut feeling too – to explain their decision-making

Advice from three highly experienced nurses, who draw on a complex mix of clinical skills, knowledge – and gut feeling too – to explain their decision-making

Experienced nurses use a multitude of sources of information to make decisions about deteriorating patients, to build the best picture of their health, according to a recent US study .

Researchers found that these nurses gather information by communicating with the patient and their family, patient assessment, medical records, and by considering factors in the patient’s environment that could affect health.

Each using a patient example, Three UK nurses practising in different settings reflect on how their own experience and skills help them identify patient deterioration and their decision-making processes, and offer some practical advice too.

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