Assessment vs Data Collection

  1. I posted this to another person but wish to verify I am correct in my thoughts.

    The LPN gathers data. Example- when I took my NCLEX-PN, I had to listen to a variety of breath sounds and then identify crackles vs rales vs rhonchi vs wheezes. That is not an assessment. It is data collection because I can not interpret the data to create an intervention... It would be up to an RN or physician to say order a cxr, or initiate asthma protocols like neb treatments or oxygen therapy.

    Am I correct thus far?

    Well, in theory, I, an LPN, can collect data (but not interpret) that a COPD pt is feeling anxious (a common ailment for the condition) and is hyperventilating. I would then be obligated to inform the RN or physician. I can not make interventions alone and instruct the patient to try pursed lip breathing. I would have to wait for the instruction to come down the chain.

    But let's face reality... That is one heck of a slippery slope. Next thing you've got going on is a geriatric patient with soft tissue swelling r/t recent fall on the hip complaining of pain when they lie down. I collect that data (the pain score) and then report to the physician to interpret just to tell me to reposition the patient 2 hours later!? Puhlease!

    Anyways... I just had this thought and wanted what the take is on the subject or if I've got this skewed.
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    About libran1984

    Joined: Aug '11; Posts: 590; Likes: 685
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in Emergency Nursing