As you become more proficient in measuring vital signs and interpreting the findings, you should remember a few key points.
There are many methods to take vitals signs. The correct technique is essential to obtaining an accurate measurement.
Vital sign measurements have very little meaning on their own. Healthcare providers engage in critical thinking and correlate these measurements with subjective and other objective data. Thinking critically about these measurements will best inform clinical decision-making. Healthcare providers look holistically at the person and their health and wellness state to determine whether vital sign measurements are within normal limits for this individual person.
It is also essential to acknowledge that clients may have additional information that can provide insight into their body, which may influence the technique and location for measuring vital signs and the significance of the findings. Sharing findings with clients is also a good opportunity for health promotion teaching.
Points to Consider
It is important to document vital signs in a timely manner. The healthcare provider reports any abnormal and unexpected findings to the most responsible provider. For example, students should share the findings with their preceptor or clinical instructor in a timely manner.
Figure 7.1: Cells (Illustration credit: Hilary Tang)
Artist Statement – Cells
The human body is a messy phenomenon. From the organ to the cell, the brain to the neurotransmitter, like clockwork, everything is constantly happening. Down to our very core, the tiniest components are working in conjunction, harmoniously, to let us eat, breathe, and move. Without our constant consciousness, we are living. What an organized chaos our bodies are.