ASSESSMENT – SECONDARY
Something in your primary assessment has triggered you into believing further immediate intervention is required. This is where you collect the necessary information to direct your interventions and actions
The secondary survey consists of;
How well are they? = Vital signs
What are their injuries / what is their condition? = Patient examination
What is their past medical history? = Short history summary
What is our patient care plan? = Put it all together – Nursing interventions and initial recommendations
VITAL SIGNS: How well are they doing?
Respiratory Rate and Effort and SaO2:
Shows us how well the Respiratory System, the airway and lungs are doing supplying the brain with O2.
- LOOK – Do they look like they are having difficulty breathing, fast or slow, what’s the SaO2, do they need to sit up?
- LISTEN – Are they complaining of shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?
- FEEL – Is the chest moving properly with breathing?
Heart Rate and Blood Pressure:
Tells us how well the Cardiovascular System, the heart and blood vessels, are doing
- LOOK – Do they look shocked, pale or grey, agitated or drowzy?
- LISTEN – What is there heart rate
- FEEL – Take a blood pressure
Level of consciousness / sensation and strength:
Tells us how well the Central Nervous System, the brain and spinal cord, are doing
Level of Consciousness is determined using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS):
Level of response to trying to wake them, ability to speak, environmental stimulus
Are their eyes open spontaneously?
Speak to them, do they react to hearing their name?
Response to painful stimuli? Use a pinch to the trapezius muscle
Is there any response to verbal or painful stimuli?
Skin colour, temperature, and moisture:
baseline colour, of course, varies by individual and race
- Look – What is their skin colour, pale, ashen, cyanotic?
- Listen – Are they complaining about feeling hot or cold?
- Feel – Is their skin dry, moist, clammy, hot, or cold?
So we have learnt to follow up on our assessment and go back to have a second look at what wasn’t right. Brilliant keep up the great work!
Clinical Examination : a systematic guide to physical diagnosis 6th Edition 2010 by Nicholas J. Talley, Simon O’Connor.