Nurses need to know appropriate clinical range when taking observations
When taking observations from patients with learning disabilities remember that generalisations may be inappropriate, say Andrea Page and Melanie Wakeman
All nursing students are taught a range of core nursing skills in their first year at Birmingham City University. These include nursing observations such as taking manual blood pressure, tympanic temperature and pulse, and assessing an individual’s respiration.
The observations enable nursing students to detect changes in the individual’s condition quickly and accurately. They can be reported to mentors on placement so that appropriate actions can be decided. Undertaking nursing observations is a fundamental element of care.
Observations should not be taken in isolation, and nursing students need to know the appropriate clinical ranges for their patient population, and child or adult ranges. However, we believe that determining whether findings are ‘normal’ for...