Help w/post-op Vital Sign question?


Hi all, a study guide for a test I'm taking asks basically which V/S is most important in assessing post-op activity tolerance. I have scoured the textbook, my notes, and Googled until my eyes are crossed and cannot find a specific answer. I'm thinking it has to be blood pressure, but could it also be checking oxygenation with a pulse oximeter? Help please, and thanks!


250 Posts

I may be wrong but I would go with the pt's pain tolerance (pain as the 5th vital sign)

Specializes in Infusion, Med/Surg/Tele, Outpatient. Has 15 years experience.

I think you need to define when in the post op period you are. There's a different focus with immediate postop, recent postop, then _ day.

Specializes in Peri-op/Sub-Acute ANP.

The first priority for PACU nurses is the ABC's beginning of course with respiratory status (patent airway, breath sounds, type of airway (if appropriate), o2 sats. They then move on to the routine vital signs, bp, pulse, etc. Level of consciousness is also an important factor. Patients frequently still have varying amounts on anesthesia on board and the time it takes to metabolize these drugs varies from patient to patient.

Hope this gives you something to work on.


2 Posts

Thanks all for the helpful answers! The study guide question is vague, but I'm sure this will help when I see the actual test question.