I know this is your first year.....and it can be over whelming at times.What about this is confusing you?
Pain: Determine amount and severity of pain if present.Ask client for descriptions;avoid coaching client with words to describe pain.
Allow patient to describe their own pain. At times a severe break once set/reduced/fixed in the OR and placed in a cast the extremity can experience a sudden swelling that cause unbearable pressure and constriction of the extremity and cause excruciating pain that has nothing to do with the actual break
Pallor: Observe color of tissues distal of cast
Look to the end of the cast look at the toes or fingers. At times there can be so much swelling that the circulation is cut off to the distal digits causing them to look paler that the opposite extremity and at times white in appearance
Pulselessness: When possible palpate distal pulse of casted extremity;note presence and strength of pulse.assess capillary refill by pressing on toenail or fingernail if cast is on extremity,releasing and noting pinking of nail;nail should pink up in 3 seconds or less.
Just what it says check the pulse if you can...is there a pulse? you can sometimes fit your finger in enough to check the pulse this is usually the pedal pulse. Check the cap refill if it is less than 3 sec you are ok indication that there is ample blood supply. I have even attached a pulse ox to the digit to ensure adequate circulation
Paresthesia: Assess for numbness,tingling, or abnormal sensations.
Have you ever fell asleep on your arm or hit your funny bone? Well that is from a lack of blood flow causing numbness
Paraplegia: Assess for motion
Digits Don't move indicating the swelling has cut off circulation enough to paralyze the fingers/toes.
Now what is compartment syndrome......compartment syndrome