Subjective or Objective? - page 2

On our last BN test we had a section asking us to identify if certain situations would be subjective or objective data One of the examples (which I missed) was the one listed in the poll I... Read More

  1. by   colleen10
    I am interested to see what the answer and rationale is to this.

    I put down "Objective" because while I understand that objective is what you can see - swelling, sweating, redness, infection, etc. our teacher really stressed that "Subjective" information can ONLY come from the patient. So, if the child is not old enough or too ill to speak for themselves, it may not have an appetite but cannot tell us that for sure himself.

    Also, I think there is a very fine line with the way the question is asked. The mother can't say for sure whether or not the child is hungry, but she can "observe" that the child does not want food / has poor appetite.
  2. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    But by the mother telling the nurse this information, it is sujective data to the nurse.

    Objective data to the mother, but because mom is telling the nurse, then it is subjective.
  3. by   colleen10
    I found an even more specific definition of Subjective / Objective than what I even learned in class last week.

    Subjective Data:
    Referred to as Symptoms or covert data, are apparent only to the person affected and can be described or verified only by that person.

    Objective Data:
    Referred to as signs or overt data, are detectable by an observer or can be tested against an accepted standard. They can be seen, heard, felt or smelled and are obtained by observation or physical examination.
  4. by   kimtab
    For the purpose of care planning and charting, it's subjective because it wasn't observed directly by you or another member of the healthcare team.
  5. by   2ner
    what the patient (or in this case, the mother) states is going to be subjective.....anything YOU OBserve is going to be OBjective
  6. by   det01
    I would say objective.

    Subjective data is data that the patient gives you.

    Ogjective data is data tha can be observed. The mother observed the behavior and told you about it. Therefore, I would say it is objective. Whether or not you observed it does not matter it is obsevered.

    At least that is what I would put.
  7. by   2ner
    but you (or the data collector) didn't observe that behavior.

    what if the mother suffers from munchausen by proxy (or however you spell it) ? The mother could be "telling" you something that isn't true just trying to get the attention of med providers. now when you run tests to validate what the mother's saying you're able to actually "measure" something. so that data would be objective.

    now if she came in and told you that her kid fell down the stairs and bruised his leg you could observe that bruise. but the info you got from the mother would still be subjective. you observing that bruise is the objective data b/c you can actually measure the bruise.
  8. by   jenac
    Originally posted by RN2be
    Even if the child could speak it would still be subjective. You can't see, feel. touch or test an oipinion about a poor appetite. If after a certain lenght of time you observe your patient refusing food and not eating then that would be objective. But a person just saying ther is a lack of appetite leads me to say this is subjective.
    Look at it this way- if the child had pitting edema, say 2+ that would be objective. You can see it, feel it, measure it. But a loss of appetite can't. You could PROVE it by measuring every little bite of food-but you can't see or touch a "feeling". Not wanting to eat would be a feeling.
    Last edit by jenac on Aug 28, '03
  9. by   nursebucky
    Anything the pt says is subjective. It is normally in qoutes.

    If the patient REPORTS that he is weak, it is OBJECTIVE.

    Objective is what you can see or measure, such as the bp, RR, pulse.

    Hope this helps.
  10. by   RNIAM
    "If the patient REPORTS that he is weak, it is OBJECTIVE. "
    Can you clarify this for me please. If the patient is Reporting something he/she is feeling such as weakness, that is subjective because it can't be measured. If, however you witness the patient uanble to steady his/her gait, or see pt unable to stand that would be objective. If a pt reports that he does not drink, however you do a blood test to measure etoh, that test is objective because it is measureable.
  11. by   bedpan
    ok - here we go -

    I put down that this was objective - And it was counted wrong

    When I asked about this I was told that anything which could be measured is objective data - and that even though we were only told this by the mother, we COULD measure this ourself by seeing how much the child would eat

    As I said, I didn't completely understand this reasoning (or maybe just didn't agree) but I let it go at that - she is the Instructor and I am a student and I am not going to argue over one question especially since I made a 95 on the test anyway lol

    It has been very, very interesting to see everyone's reasoning on this! I am going to be on the lookout for especially good questions on my tests from now on and bring them here!

    Thanks to everyone who has replied - and don't stop now! It is still very interesting to see other's thoughts on this!
  12. by   det01
    To be perfectly honest - I think that it would vary by professor on the answer to that one. I have had similar questions befoer and put subjective - and it was counted WRONG! And the teacher told me the reasoning I used in my answer. So, that leaves me to believe that one professor would want one answer and another one a different answer.
  13. by   bedpan
    I agree det01 -

    My Instructor told me another of the Instructors missed it herself when she took the test! (We always split the class up with one half going to another room with another of our Instructors to take our tests - And the other Instructor usually takes the test "just because" while we do)

    Missing a question like this one didn't bother me too much given that I made an A anyway - But it does make me think about how I would feel if I missed a question such as this on a final and missed passing the course by a fraction of a point!