Vital Signs - Explaining The Procedure...

  1. Hi everyone! I was just wondering what to say when I'm telling a patient the procedure to vital signs (pulse, respiration, blood pressure and body temperature).

    I know some people keep it simple ("Hi (patient's name), my name is (nurse's name) and I'll be taking your blood pressure today.) What do you do? And also how do you tell them to remain quiet? Do I say something like "Please remain silent while I'm taking your vital signs".

    Thanks everyone!
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    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 1

    6 Comments

  3. by   allthingsbright
    Um...

    I just introduce myself and say that I am there to take their vitals. I turn the TV off if they are watching it, but dont ask them to be quiet unless they are talking a lot, etc.

    You will get the hang of it once you do it! GL!
  4. by   Amber_student_nurse
    I ussually go in, introduce myself, explain that Im going to take their vital signs. Ussually just give them a quick overview. Eg "This probe on your finger measures your oxygen levels". I ussually tell the patient what their blood pressure is - explain why it might be low/high if it is. It's always good for your patient to have a general awareness of what their BP is. I dont ussually ask them to stop talking unless they are talking to me/or very loudly and even then I say something like "Ive just got to listen really carefully now".
  5. by   RNsRWe
    Chances are excellent that you, a student, are not the first person to approach this patient with a b/p cuff and steth

    "Hi, I'm Suzy, a student assigned to work with you and your nurse today. I'm just going to get some vitals now"
  6. by   nurse4theplanet
    and a thermometer in the mouth keeps the talking to a minimum
  7. by   ShockerGirl07
    A thing our teachers told us to say was "i'm going to CHECK (not take) your vitals now" because if you say "take" some people get scared, worried, etc.
  8. by   rtaz315
    By the time I check VS in a clinical setting the introduction and initial patient assessment (head to toe minus VS) has already taken place (we start clinicals at 7a.m. and most hospitals in my area take VS at 10am and 2pm, unless the patient's condition warrents early checks on VS). When I do go in to check VS, I explain what I will be doing and tell the patient what their T, P, and BP are. Answer any questions they may have (that I am qualified to answer) and thank them for their cooperation. Perhaps it is because I have already completed an initial assessment and introduction before doing the VS but I have not had much problem with patients talking to me when I was checking VS. I have had several talking to others in the room or watching TV, however all of my instructors have taught that the hospital is noise by nature (visitors, equipment, pages, other staff in semi-private rooms, people in the hallways, etc.) and you have to learn to tune out the external noise and concentrate on what you are doing. They had us practice on family members at home with the TV on, Radio on, kids running around -- whatever it took and eventually I learned to close my eyes if needed and just listen. Sounds stupid but I promise it worked. If checking an Apical pulse I have explained to a patient that what they were saying echoed in the stethoscope and ask for just one minute to complete the VS check (if they are talking I always do that last). For Respirations, we were taught never to let the patient know we were checking Resp. because they would unconciously change their breathing pattern. If I have a talkative patient I pretend to still be listening to the heart and count the resp. at that time. Hope something here will be helpful to you. Just hang in there and keep practicing in all types of different settings, it will get easier.

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