Eight Senses Assessment

Nurses General Nursing


everyone seems to enjoy these "games". once again it is a no blame no shame game.

you have been on the holiday of your life camping out on a deserted remote national park. you have a mobile phone but there is no mobile phone reception in this area. you are 2 hours walk from the nearest help when you come across a camp site. there is a cold camp fire with a pot of something slowly congealing. a small tent and a person lying on their side on the ground.

for this scenario you will have to use all eight senses. the first five - sight, hearing, touch smell and taste as well as your sixth sense, common sense and a sense of dread/sense of humour whichever is more applicable.


1,049 Posts

Specializes in midwifery, ophthalmics, general practice.

check for danger!! alway put yourself first!!! whats in the tent?? then check the person- vital signs???? are they alive?? I have checked for traps and falling pits!!(sorry D&D speak) snakes etc. so is it safe??????????????


Katnip, RN

2,904 Posts

I wouldn't be tasting what's in the pot, that's for sure.

Maybe you could use your sense of smell to tell how long the person's been lying there?

Listen to make sure he's not snoring. And listen for any ambient sounds. Is it too quiet?

Me, I'd probably find a looong stick to poke the person first to see if it moves.

Just look around, like karen said, for signs of snakes, maybe bear tracks.

If the tent door isn't opened, I'm not gonna open it. Maybe hit the side with the stick.

I'd feel like I was in one of those horror films. Find dead body, find yourself being stalked as the next victim.


163 Posts

Use your common sense first. Check for any immediate danger to yourself. Look and listen. Go with your first instinct. If you get that sense of dread in the pit of your stomach - then get out. If you feel safe in the area, the check the person down. Look, listen, and feel. I might use my sense of smell to check the congealed pot. But I ain't usin' my sense of taste for anything in this scenario!!!!

gwenith - you are great at this stuff. Do you do any type of teaching???

Specializes in Med-Surg.

Ok...first I am going to STOP moving. Then I am going to sniff the air...do I smell anything unusual? Like bear breath or death? Do I hear anything? Breathing, panting, limbs breaking, running, anything??

The sense of dread is acting up...adrenaline pumping, etc. Still being still I slowly observe the scene for signs of what could be the problem. Is there blood anywhere? Animal tracks? People tracks that don't match mine or the body on the ground. Can I see any movement of the body or in the tent?

After standing a couple of minutes being pretty still I could be convinced there is nothing awake or visible that is a threat, so still being vigilant I would move slowly toward the person to determine their status--dead or alive. Then I would check out the stuff in the pot. I'd check to see how warm the stuff in it is, sniff it to try to determine what's in there.

And now I am waiting to see if you tell us if this guy is dead or alive because that would make a big difference in what I would do next!

passing thru

655 Posts

I'd figure the female is asleep in the tent ,

and the guy, - - - lying out under the stars, near the campfire and

has fallen asleep. ..after some good wine and good sex.

I'd continue with my hike on back to my camp site.


754 Posts

Specializes in Everything but psych!.
:p You guys are so funny to read! Impressions are so funny! I think we all would be cautious and stop in our tracks first. Then smell, listen, and look. If there's stuff in the pot, it's obvious that a bear didn't get it, so it probably is not an animal. However, the food has been sitting there awhile, so the person has been out for awhile. I wouldn't eat the stuff in the pot either. Mushrooms? Carefully approach the person. I know! Monkeypox! (You can't tell I live in WI, can you?)


799 Posts

Specializes in Step down, ICU, ER, PACU, Amb. Surg.

Passing thru...you crack me up!! :rotfl:

I guess, I would look around to see if tere was any immediate danger in the camp site, then I would call out a greeting to see if I got a response. After that, I would anaylize(sp) the camp fire, sniff at the pot.....then find a long stick to polk at the person, just in case he/she startles easily...(don't want a scared person swingin' at me!) But When I polk this person, is he/she breathing, making noise??? That will determine how I proceed next.


2,719 Posts

Is the person responsive, i. e. can I 'rouse him by calling out?

Is he visibly or audibly breathing? Does some one answer or create noise from the tent when I call out?

Next If no to all the above. Check the person. Is he cold? Or is there other evidence that he is long dead? If not then I'd check breaths pulse that sort of thing.

OK now I am going to assume he is long dead. I might or might not check inside the tent, mayby not. I would walk the two miles to report this.

But really unless I thought this guy looked dead or something was amiss, I would probably ignore the whole thing and keep on walking. I'd figure the guy was just camping out and respect his privacy.

I'd just like to know what country that I am in a "remoted deseted national park" Obviously that does not apply to the USA. Yes, there are remote areas within some national parks. But there are no remote nor deserted ones. If you have been to the parks you know what I mean. Even in remote areas they are not deserted.

passing thru

655 Posts

There is remote....if you look for it....

in Yosemite and Texas' Big Bend....

cell phones don't work....................

people die out there.......................

true, not deserted,....................

but if you spend a day hiking out into the backcountry,

it is highly unlikely you will see another person in the next 2 weeks.

I hear large area's of the Great Smokies are like that....

And, of course, Louisiana and Alabama,.....

if you want privacy, walk a mile into the swamps or forest.....

no one will find you unless you want to be seen......................

I love remote, that is why in the above scenario,

I'd keep walking.

Someone has gone to lots of trouble to have a

"true nature experience."

It's in the city you have to worry about predators, not in the remote areas...... Sleep openly under the stars with

No Fear.


754 Posts

Specializes in Everything but psych!.

I'm ready for the answer......waiting.... :coollook:


799 Posts

Specializes in Step down, ICU, ER, PACU, Amb. Surg.

okay....person polked....no response....nudge with toe, still no response....I would be looking to see if there is any obvious signs of injury....kneel down check for ABCs that would be the determining factor in this scene.....after getting to this stage....what is the status of his ABCs and what kind of tools and such are at my disposal.

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