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Do the schools in the UK and OZ teach differently?

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by P_RN P_RN, BSN, RN (Member) Member Expert Nurse Verified

P_RN has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ORTHOPAEDICS-CERTIFIED SINCE 89.

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It came up in another forum that UK and OZ nurses are not taught to listen to lung and heart sounds as the US and Canadian nurses are. Is this so? And why? Aren't they both integral to a full assessment?

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Silverdragon102 has 31 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC.

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It came up in another forum that UK and OZ nurses are not taught to listen to lung and heart sounds as the US and Canadian nurses are. Is this so? And why? Aren't they both integral to a full assessment?

depending on where you work but in the hospitals where I worked the nurses did not do heart and lung assessments it was done by the doctors. The only differences would be if you have an interest in that area. I worked in a doctors surgery and dealt a lot with patients who had respiratory disease and I often would listen to their breathing but had no guidence to what I was listening to and did it mainly to get some experience before I move to the US, but will add if I had any worries on what I was listening to I would get one of the GP's to see them but they didn't always have to time to teach me and generally just dealt with the patient.

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XB9S has 22 years experience and specializes in Advanced Practice, surgery.

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I posted the original comment about UK nurses, I have worked in many different areas and have also taught nursing students as a nurse lecturer (many years ago).

As far a I know the clinical examination skills are not routinely part of the nurse education system.

I am now a NP so I do listen and have been taught examination skills but before if I had a patient who had a deteriorating respiratory status I used other observations, such as respiratory rate, sats, the look of your patient and CVS observations.

To be honest I really don't know where UK nurses would find the time to do a full examination of all thier patients, but that does not mean they do not assess thier patients. I suppose our assessments are just different.

Also I work in a surgical unit and to be honest not even the medics would listen to heart and lung sounds daily, only if they suspect there is a problem.

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Grace Oz specializes in Med/Surg/Ortho/HH/Radiology-Now Retired.

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Listening to heart and lung sounds was not routine during my working career. I've been retired for almost 5 years now. Things may be different now. The doc's usually did those assessments. Nursing practice in Oz was, (I think still is for the most part), based on the UK model.

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I can't speak to whether or not it is practiced within the hospital system in Oz, but when I was a the University of Southern Queensland (Toowoomba), there was a fabulous nursing educator there named Janet Rankin who taught us both heart sounds and lung sounds. It has been some years now, but I believe she still teaches there, and if so, probably still teaches these assessments to her students.

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scattycarrot has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ITU/Emergency.

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To be honest I really don't know where UK nurses would find the time to do a full examination of all thier patients, but that does not mean they do not assess thier patients. I suppose our assessments are just different.

Absolutley! In the Uk, we don't seem to have so much support staff as you have over here. In the ER I worked in, we had a few health care support workers but only ever one per shift for the whole ER. No LPNs, no CHAs, no ECT, no RT's, etc... so the RN has to do everything. Alot of the nurses where I worked(including myself) were trained in clinical assessment skills but really had no time to assess all patients and listen to their chests,etc. I would do so if the patient was SOB or had chest pain/palpitations, etc.. but we were so short staffed it was almost impossible. And do full assessments at triage? yeah,good luck with that one!

As for full assessments on the ward, ward nurses are so short of time and staff that they are lucky to give the patients basic (and I mean basic) care.

I think training is changing though and more and more nurses are training in clinical examination skills but it is still considered advanced practice. Obvioulsy there are areas where nurses utilise these skills regularly,such as ITU or the ER, but in general I don't think nurses in the UK are bothered about listening to patients chests and are happy using other assessment tools, such as their eyes! Just because a nurse is capable of listening to chests and knows the difference between a systolic murmur and a diastolic murmur, it doesn't mean that they are a good nurse! There is so much more to nursing than that. The nurse training in the UK isn't inferior because it doesn't teach such indepth assessment skills,it is just different and the emphasis is on other things. You say potato and we say potaato!

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RGN1 specializes in med/surg.

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The Critical care Team nurses where I used to work listened to lung sounds - & taught me the basics - but heart sounds, no that's up to the docs & they don't do it as a routine - only if clinically indicated. I will listen to lung sounds if I'm concerned about a patient's breathing but as a rule that's not often in the fast-paced surgical unit where I work now.

Neither are taught in nursing schools here & I think all the reasons in the above posts are why! Simply not practicable in the time we have (or more accurately don't have!)

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madwife2002 has 26 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in RN, BSN, CHDN.

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From my experience of both countries I know how to listen to lung sounds and heart sounds but to be truthful nobody does anything with it except pass on the information to the nurse coming on duty next. Half the time people disaggee with your findings-If the pt is detiorating you dont need to listen to heart and lungs sounds to have already identified that.

Hey Uk nurses, the great thing about working over here is that you dont do nebulisers it is a Respirtory Therapists job!!! You just page em when your pt needs an extra neb, they are probably already having schedualed ones.

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