How to count respirations?

  1. 0
    Hello, I was just wondering if anyone had any tips on counting respirations for the STNA test should Vitals come up as one of my skills. I seem to have trouble seeing the rise and fall and putting a hand on their back doesn't seem to help much either. Thanks in advance for any tips!
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  3. 10 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    In class we would grab the patients/classmate's hand and place it on their chest. You hold them on their wrist in a way that you can count their pulse and feel their respirations at the same time and they don't know which you're doing.

    Maybe that will help.

    Dondie
  5. 0
    I was taught to watch for respirations while taking the pulse. I was actually taught that you do not tell the patient that you are checking respirations because they may get self conscious and breath faster/slower, or more/less than they normally would. You take the pulse for 30 seconds then for the next 30 take respirations while pretending to still be checking the pulse.

    As far as being able to recognize respirations, watch for any chest movement, listen for breath being inhaled or exhaled, and watch for the shoulders/stomach to rise and fall.
    Good Luck on your test!
  6. 0
    Quote from mimib
    I was taught to watch for respirations while taking the pulse. I was actually taught that you do not tell the patient that you are checking respirations because they may get self conscious and breath faster/slower, or more/less than they normally would. You take the pulse for 30 seconds then for the next 30 take respirations while pretending to still be checking the pulse.

    As far as being able to recognize respirations, watch for any chest movement, listen for breath being inhaled or exhaled, and watch for the shoulders/stomach to rise and fall.
    Good Luck on your test!
    It might vary from state to state, but I was tested on respirations during my GNA test & for testing purposes we had to mention to the client that we were counting respirations.
  7. 0
    I'd check with your teacher, I was told not to tell the patient because people won't breathe naturally if theyre told they're being watched.
  8. 0
    I live in FL and I was told not to tell the patient for the reasons stated- they won't breathe in a way that would be accurate.

    It was also suggested to put the call button on their chest and pretend to take the pulse. And you start on the INHALE.
  9. 0
    Today is my 3rd day of the CNA class and we went over how to count respirations. We were told not to tell the patient that we were counting respirations because they will focus on their breathing and they may not breath naturally. Also, my instructor said it is best not to stare @ the patients chest when counting respirations (especially if your a male CNA and have a female patient), that it may make them uncomfortable, and to find another way to count respirations like watching the shoulders.
  10. 0
    Quote from ~Evette~
    Today is my 3rd day of the CNA class and we went over how to count respirations. We were told not to tell the patient that we were counting respirations because they will focus on their breathing and they may not breath naturally. Also, my instructor said it is best not to stare @ the patients chest when counting respirations (especially if your a male CNA and have a female patient), that it may make them uncomfortable, and to find another way to count respirations like watching the shoulders.
    When I first became a nursing assistant, I used to do that until one of my patients told me I was scaring her. We had a good laugh about it, but afterwards I just started taking the patient's wrist and laying it on their stomachs. Or if I can hear the patient breathing I'll count respirations that way.
  11. 0
    do you start with zero or one?
  12. 0
    Breathe in, breath out--one.
    Breathe in, breathe out--two.

    Don't over-think it. Count like you would anything else.


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