Primary health assessments are vital to prioritising and treating severe lifethreatening conditions

Categories: Health

Primary health assessments are vital to prioritising and treating severe life-threatening conditions whilst discovering and eliminating the initial conditions (Marven E., 2019, para 1). During primary assessments, the steps required to figure out any life-threatening problem is to make a general impression of the patient, record the response given by the patient, perform a quick scan that assesses the patient’s airway, breathing, and circulation and lastly follow up by deciding the patient’s priority for treatment and transport to the hospital (Initial Assessment, 2017, para 1).

The general impression of the patient can be made by approaching the patient and observing the patient’s environment and appearance. When determining the mental status or how responsive the patient is, AVPU scale is made each time the vital signs are measured to assess the patient’s level of consciousness (Aaron Jones, 2010, pg. 1).When prioritising a patient’s need for treatment, observing high-priority conditions may include; poor general impression, having trouble breathing, unresponsive or can be responsive but unable to follow through instructions given, uncontrolled bleeding or severe pain anywhere in the body.

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The normal health parameters for an adult can vary depending on the age, weight, gender, capability of exercise and their overall general health (Vital signs, 2019, para 1). A normal adult body temperature, when taken orally, can range from 36.4 ” 37.5 degrees Celsius. The normal respiration rate for an adult at rest is usually around 12 to 18 breaths per minute (BPM) but a respiration rate under 12 or over 25 BPM while resting may be considered as abnormal. It is also important to take note if the patient is having any trouble breathing.

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An adult resting heart rate is considered normal within the ranges of 60 to 100 beats per minute. Normally, when a patient has a lower heart rate at rest it can indicate the patient has a heart function that is competent and a good cardiovascular fitness (Edward R. Laskowski, M.D., 2019, para 1). For an adult at rest, a healthy blood pressure is considered to have readings of 120/80 mm Hg. If the systolic pressure reads 120-139 and a diastolic pressure of 80-89, it should be closely monitored as it can be considered a high blood pressure also known as “prehypertension (Marta M, 2019, para 1). A range of 97-100% oxygen saturation level is normal for healthy adults. Depending on the individual and the doctor’s decision, if a patient has a blood oxygen level of saturation below 90%, it can be considered low and may require oxygen supplementation as it can be a sign of a condition known as Hypoxemia (Barnes, 2010, pg.3).Vital signs for all patients need to be assessed and recorded at least three times a day with information that includes the patient’s respiratory rate, blood pressure, level of awareness and temperature. Monitoring vital signs is essential in order to identify any marks of clinical deterioration as well as to assess the patient’s wellbeing and any medical complications that may occur or currently have (Vital Signs, 2019).Normal vital signs for the elderly does not generally change from an adult’s normal health parameter. However, with the pulse rate, aging can lead to a slight decrease in breaths and lung functions. When the respiratory rate of an elderly person is being taken, doctors or nurses would often listen for any abnormal sounds coming from the patient. For body temperature, aging will eventually cause the body to decrease in body fat making it harder to stay warm (Kraft, 2018, para 1). However, the normal health parameters for children in blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiratory rate changes as the newborn/child develops and ages.A normal heart rate for children can change depending on the time of day. A normal heart rate for children in the ages of 6-10 may fluctuate between 60-95 BPM when awake and when asleep it may change to around 58 ” 90 BPM (Kliegman. RM, 2015, pg. 1). One of the significant factors for improving patient’s satisfactions and overall health outcome is to have an effective interpersonal and communication skill between the patient and healthcare provider (Berengere et al., 1997). The communication technique used by the nurse while assessing the vital signs was a great way of displaying an effective communication skill as it indicated the patient’s comfortability and therefore trust towards the nurse. The video greatly demonstrated when conducting the assessment, many open-ended and closed questions were used to get the answers the nurse wanted or felt was important to take down. The nurse was also aware of maintaining an appropriate amount of space between the two enough to make the patient comfortable for communication. This video overall indicates that effective communication really impacts the health and satisfaction of the patient. It also indicates that most barriers to effective communication are linked with the characteristics of the nurse and patients. The video also helps indicate the use of effective communication skill in healthcare settings does not only benefit patients but also benefits the nurses in the aspect of their job satisfaction.

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Primary health assessments are vital to prioritising and treating severe lifethreatening conditions. (2019, Aug 20). Retrieved from

Primary health assessments are vital to prioritising and treating severe lifethreatening conditions

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