Noone is breathing!

  1. OK, so maybe they are, but I am having a heck of a time seeing respirations on just about everyone:uhoh21: . We were told to take pulse for 30 seconds, then pretend to take pulse next 30 seconds while secretly counting respirations. Problem is I cannot see people breathing. I have tried looking at chest, looking at abdomen, looking at back (all surrepticously <sp>). I am becoming convinced that everyone I have been assessing is holding their breath.

    So do any of you have any jedi mind tricks I could employ... I will even take tips and tricks not mentioned here. TIA:bowingpur
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    About OnTheRoad

    Joined: Feb '06; Posts: 180; Likes: 23


  3. by   The Bell Jar
    Well,we were taught that we could cross their arm over their chest (you keep your hand on their pulse the whole time),so we could actually feel them breathing or not.
  4. by   BoonersmomRN
    What I do with people I can't see them breathing is that I will tell them I am going to take their pulse. I will use one hand to take the pulse and put my other hand lightly on their shoulder/arm/armpit area ( this hand has the watch). That way they think I am timing their pulse for a whole min but really 30 secs of that I can feel their breathing with the hand I have on their arm/shoulder/pit. Works everytime!
  5. by   S.N. Visit
    I also had a hard time when I was first learning to assess. I had to check the radial pulse with the pt's arm crossed over the chest, until I was able to spot the rise and fall of the chest without feeling it. After 1 1/2 yrs of practice, i can spot it right away. It just takes time and practice. Don't worry everyone isn't holding their breath!
  6. by   fleur-de-lis
    If you are also listening to heart/lung sounds, maybe count resps at the same time as listening to the lungs. You'd have to be sly about looking at your watch though, or they might see what you are doing and change their breathing pattern. You'd also have to ask them to breathe normally instead of deeply. I'd say just try a bunch of these recommended techniques til you find what works for you!
  7. by   locolorenzo22
    Watch shoulder area, you can often see a slight rise/fall in them as patient breathes, up when in, down when out....try it!
  8. by   OnTheRoad
    There is a reason I love this place!