Nursing Tips

When palpating the carotid pulse, be sure to only do one side at a time to avoid restricting blood flow to the brain!

Palpating the Carotid Pulse

Cathy Parkes

When palpating the carotid pulse, be sure to only do one side at a time to avoid restricting blood flow to the brain!

Palpating the Carotid Pulse

Cathy Parkes

When palpating the carotid pulse, be sure to only do one side at a time to avoid restricting blood flow to the brain!

The "quality" of a patient's pain refers to the words the patient uses to describe it. Examples would be "dull," "aching," "throbbing," "burning," etc.

Quality of Pain

Cathy Parkes

The "quality" of a patient's pain refers to the words the patient uses to describe it. Examples would be "dull," "aching," "throbbing," "burning," etc.

1 comment

Quality of Pain

Cathy Parkes

The "quality" of a patient's pain refers to the words the patient uses to describe it. Examples would be "dull," "aching," "throbbing," "burning," etc.

1 comment
Nociceptive pain is caused by tissue damage or inflammation. This type of pain is often described as "aching" or "throbbing". Neuropathic pain is caused by nerve damage. This type of pain is often described as "shooting" or "burning".

Nociceptive and Neuropathic Pain

Cathy Parkes

Nociceptive pain is caused by tissue damage or inflammation. Neuropathic pain is caused by nerve damage.

Nociceptive and Neuropathic Pain

Cathy Parkes

Nociceptive pain is caused by tissue damage or inflammation. Neuropathic pain is caused by nerve damage.

Blood pressure may be taken in either arm except when the patient has an IV infusion running, or has had a mastectomy, PICC line, or AV fistula.

Taking Blood Pressure

Cathy Parkes

Blood pressure may be taken in either arm except when the patient has an IV infusion running, or has had a mastectomy, PICC line, or AV fistula.

Taking Blood Pressure

Cathy Parkes

Blood pressure may be taken in either arm except when the patient has an IV infusion running, or has had a mastectomy, PICC line, or AV fistula.

Cranial Nerve III (Oculomotor), IV (Trochlear), and VI (Abducens) can be assessed using the corneal light reflex, the cover test, and/or the six cardinal positions of gaze.

Cranial Nerve Assessment: III, IV, and VI

Cathy Parkes

Cranial Nerve III (Oculomotor), IV (Trochlear), and VI (Abducens) can be assessed using the corneal light reflex, the cover test, and/or the six cardinal positions of gaze.

Cranial Nerve Assessment: III, IV, and VI

Cathy Parkes

Cranial Nerve III (Oculomotor), IV (Trochlear), and VI (Abducens) can be assessed using the corneal light reflex, the cover test, and/or the six cardinal positions of gaze.

Edema is documented by the depth of the indentation left by pressing a finger over the edematous area. A score of 0 means there is no clinical edema.

Edema Scoring

Cathy Parkes

Edema is documented by the depth of the indentation left by pressing a finger over the edematous area. A score of 0 means there is no pitting edema.

Edema Scoring

Cathy Parkes

Edema is documented by the depth of the indentation left by pressing a finger over the edematous area. A score of 0 means there is no pitting edema.

Cranial Nerve VIII (Vestibulocochlear/Acoustic) function can be assessed with the whisper test, Rinne test, and/or Weber test.

Cranial Nerve VIII Function Assessment

Cathy Parkes

Cranial Nerve VIII (Vestibulocochlear/Acoustic) function can be assessed with the whisper test, Rinne test, and/or Weber test.

Cranial Nerve VIII Function Assessment

Cathy Parkes

Cranial Nerve VIII (Vestibulocochlear/Acoustic) function can be assessed with the whisper test, Rinne test, and/or Weber test.

Lordosis (excessive curvature of the lumbar spine) is a common finding in pregnancy and in toddlers.

Lordosis, Kyphosis, and Scoliosis

Cathy Parkes

Lordosis (excessive curvature of the lumbar spine) is a common finding in pregnancy and in toddlers. Kyphosis (excessive curvature of the thoracic spine) is a common finding in the older...

Lordosis, Kyphosis, and Scoliosis

Cathy Parkes

Lordosis (excessive curvature of the lumbar spine) is a common finding in pregnancy and in toddlers. Kyphosis (excessive curvature of the thoracic spine) is a common finding in the older...

Cranial Nerve I (Olfactory) can be assessed by asking the patient to identify a scent (e.g., soap, coffee) while occluding one nostril at a time.

Cranial Nerve I (Olfactory) Assessment

Cathy Parkes

Cranial Nerve I (Olfactory) can be assessed by asking the patient to identify a scent (e.g., soap, coffee) while occluding one nostril at a time.

Cranial Nerve I (Olfactory) Assessment

Cathy Parkes

Cranial Nerve I (Olfactory) can be assessed by asking the patient to identify a scent (e.g., soap, coffee) while occluding one nostril at a time.

Assessing Bowel Sounds - LevelUpRN

Assessing Bowel Sounds

Cathy Parkes

Bowel sounds cannot be called "absent" until the nurse has listened for five minutes without hearing bowel activity.

Assessing Bowel Sounds

Cathy Parkes

Bowel sounds cannot be called "absent" until the nurse has listened for five minutes without hearing bowel activity.

All assessments should involve identifying the patient with two patient identifiers (e.g., name, DOB, MRN#). Remember: room number is NOT a valid patient identifier!

Patient Identifiers

Cathy Parkes

All assessments should involve identifying the patient with two patient identifiers (e.g., name, DOB, MRN#). Remember: room number is NOT a valid patient identifier!

Patient Identifiers

Cathy Parkes

All assessments should involve identifying the patient with two patient identifiers (e.g., name, DOB, MRN#). Remember: room number is NOT a valid patient identifier!

Assessing skin turgor should be done by gently pinching/lifting the skin on the sternum. If the skin "tents," (i.e., stays lifted for a prolonged period and doesn't quickly return to its original place) it could indicate dehydration.

Assessing Skin Turgor

Cathy Parkes

Assessing skin turgor should be done by gently pinching/lifting the skin on the sternum. If the skin "tents," (i.e., stays lifted for a prolonged period and doesn't quickly return to...

Assessing Skin Turgor

Cathy Parkes

Assessing skin turgor should be done by gently pinching/lifting the skin on the sternum. If the skin "tents," (i.e., stays lifted for a prolonged period and doesn't quickly return to...

When assessing the eyes, the sclera should be white. The tympanic membrane of the ears, however, should be pearly gray.

Eye and Ear Assessment

Cathy Parkes

When assessing the eyes, the sclera should be white. The tympanic membrane of the ears, however, should be pearly gray.

Eye and Ear Assessment

Cathy Parkes

When assessing the eyes, the sclera should be white. The tympanic membrane of the ears, however, should be pearly gray.

Asking the patient to stick out their tongue and move it side to side is an effective way to assess the function of Cranial Nerve XII (Hypoglossal).

Assessing Hypoglossal Nerve Function

Cathy Parkes

Asking the patient to stick out their tongue and move it side to side is an effective way to assess the function of Cranial Nerve XII (Hypoglossal).

Assessing Hypoglossal Nerve Function

Cathy Parkes

Asking the patient to stick out their tongue and move it side to side is an effective way to assess the function of Cranial Nerve XII (Hypoglossal).

When assessing for "Accommodation," ask the patient to focus their eyes on a distant object, then to a near object. The pupils should constrict when focusing on the near object!

Assessing for Accommodation

Cathy Parkes

When assessing for "Accommodation," ask the patient to focus their eyes on a distant object, then to a near object. The pupils should constrict when focusing on the near object!

Assessing for Accommodation

Cathy Parkes

When assessing for "Accommodation," ask the patient to focus their eyes on a distant object, then to a near object. The pupils should constrict when focusing on the near object!

"Vesicular" breath sounds are a normal finding upon auscultation (i.e., the sound air makes flowing in and out of lungs). "Adventitious" breath sounds are always abnormal!

Breath Sounds: Vesicular and Adventitious

Cathy Parkes

"Vesicular" breath sounds are a normal finding upon auscultation (i.e., the sound air makes flowing in and out of lungs). "Adventitious" breath sounds are always abnormal!

Breath Sounds: Vesicular and Adventitious

Cathy Parkes

"Vesicular" breath sounds are a normal finding upon auscultation (i.e., the sound air makes flowing in and out of lungs). "Adventitious" breath sounds are always abnormal!

A patient is POSITIVE for orthostatic hypotension if: The SBP decreases more than 20mmHg when changing position AND/OR the DBP decreases more than 10mmHg

Orthostatic Hypotension

Cathy Parkes

A patient is POSITIVE for orthostatic hypotension if: The SBP decreases more than 20mmHg when changing position AND/OR the DBP decreases more than 10mmHg

Orthostatic Hypotension

Cathy Parkes

A patient is POSITIVE for orthostatic hypotension if: The SBP decreases more than 20mmHg when changing position AND/OR the DBP decreases more than 10mmHg

Physical Assessment Order

Physical Assessment Order

Cathy Parkes

Order of physical assessment: Inspect, palpate, percuss, auscultate. EXCEPT for assessing the abdomen: Inspect, auscultate, percuss, palpate (to avoid altering bowel sounds).

Physical Assessment Order

Cathy Parkes

Order of physical assessment: Inspect, palpate, percuss, auscultate. EXCEPT for assessing the abdomen: Inspect, auscultate, percuss, palpate (to avoid altering bowel sounds).