Features of Patients’ Consciousness in a Situation of Vital Risk
In any clinical setting, nurses are charged with the traditional role of surveillance. They have to monitor patients in order to check their conditions as well as recognizing any signs of deterioration. Without proper monitoring, patients with complications can lose consciousness which can result in death. Some of the features that nurses have traditionally employed include checking their blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and respiratory rates. Currently, patients admitted to acute care hospitals are sicker compared to the past. Coupled with the increasing number of patients in the hospitals, nurses can fail to recognize vital signs of deterioration which can result in lack of immediate intervention. With the help of existing literature, this paper will explore some of the features of patient’s consciousness in situations of vital risk.
First, the nurses usually make use of the pulse rate in situations of vital risk so as to ensure that proper interventions are taken. Nurses are normally trained to use this method whereby they feel the patient’s pulse which helps to recognize any abnormalities in the pulse rate. With the introduction of new technologies, automated machines have been employed which are more effective and has the potential to reduce human errors.
Blood pressure is another method whereby nurses make use of blood pressure machines to find out the systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels of patients. In a cross-sectional observation study carried out in Japan, the researchers concluded that the use of systolic blood pressure gives the best sign of impaired consciousness. This study was aimed at using systolic blood pressure to distinguish low and high-risk patients who had impaired consciousness because of organic brain lesion. However, this study cannot solely be relied upon because the signs of a patient’s consciousness depend on the kind of illness which does not necessarily mean that nurses should rely on blood pressure as a key feature of deterioration.
Respiratory rate has also been used by nurses in clinical settings to ascertain whether patients are at a higher risk of losing their consciousness or not. This is where nurses monitor the physiological states of the patient because this helps in recognizing any physical changes in a patient. Heavy or weak breathing, for instance, may be a clear indication of deterioration. The temperature of a patient can also be measured using a thermometer so that nurses are able to know whether the patient’s temperature is normal or abnormal. Maintaining proper functioning of the cells in the body require optimum temperature conditions. If the body temperature is above or below the normal levels, a nurse is able to recognize that a patient requires immediate attention.
In conclusion, hospital personnel are responsible for taking care of patients in order to ensure that their health needs are attained. Nurses have to routinely monitor their patients so as to recognize vital signs of deterioration. Patients may demonstrate abnormal features such as high or low blood pressure, pulse, respiratory, and temperature levels. The level of consciousness of a patient depends on these factors because any deviation from the norm can result in the loss of consciousness or even death. In order to improve patient outcomes, nurses have to play a pivotal role in ensuring effective surveillance and management of illnesses or injuries in order to enhance the safety of their clients.