Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Patient care
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Patient care

Patient care is part of a nurses role in implementing a care plan. Usually, nurses will perform patient assessment and evaluation of care while doing their patient care.

Table of contents
1 Cleanliness
2 Records
3 Temperature
4 Medicine
5 Diet
6 See also

Cleanliness

Nurses must observe the principles of cleanliness at all times to prevent the spread of sickness. They wash their hands thoroughly with soap and running water before and after caring for patient and after handling any wastes. For hands that aren't visibly soiled, alcohol gel has come into common use to sanitize the hands in place of washing.

Records

Nurses keep accurate records of all care and observations for many purposes. In a hospital, the patient's record (often referred to as a "chart") is the main means by which different members of the health care team communicate with each other. The chart is usually a legal document that serves as evidence of care provided. Since the maintenance of records is a legal responsibility, the charts often have to meet certain standards, e.g. records must be permanent, accurate, complete, and kept for years after the care was given.

Temperature

Nurses may take a person's temperature several times a day. The normal body temperature is traditionally thought of as 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit), but it may vary in healthy person from 36 to 37 degrees Celsius (97 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit). A higher temperature is called a fever. Any sudden rise in the patient's temperature could represent a medical emergency. Body temperature may be taken by mouth (oral) or by rectum (rectal), or a thermometer may be placed in the armpit (axillary). Using traditional thermometers It takes three minutes to take a temperature by mouth or rectum and ten minutes by armpit. Modern digital thermometers can take a temperature in seconds. Newer tympanic thermometers measure body temperature through a sensor pointed into the ear canal and can also take a temperature reading in seconds but the accuracy of these thermometers is still in question.

Medicine

In some countries, Advanced Practice Nurses can prescribe medication, however most nurses administer medication that is prescribed by a physician. Some clinical settings have certain drugs that can be administered by the nurse without a physicians orders. These policies (often referred to as medical directives) allow the nurse to administer common, safe medications without having to refer to a physician. Although in some countries a nurse is only responsible to administer the medication as prescribed by the doctor, in some countries nurses are legally responsible to ensure that the medication is appropriate for the patient and have the authority to interpret the order.

Diet

Diet is important to help sick people get well and well people to stay healthy. A dietitian, or other health care professional may place the patient on a regular, light, soft, or liquid diet. A person on a regular diet can eat all the foods eaten normally; on a light diet the patient may have such foods as ground meat, chicken, fish, potatoes, rice, strained vegetables, custards, and puddings. no rich, spicy foods, fried foods; or raw fruits and vegetables are allowed. A soft diet includes such foods as toast, cereal, eggs, potatoes, custards, and ice cream. A liquid diet may consist only of clear liquids, such as soup, tea, and juices. People with certain illnesses may have other diet restrictions such as people with diabetes or on dialysis. Often the sick person has little appetite, so trays should look inviting.

See also