Nursing Prioritization

Nursing Prioritization

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  • Sydney, we have two patients presenting: one with difficulty breathing and the other with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Hello! I'm Nurse Sydney Hamilton and I work at the local Emergency Clinic. One of my most important nursing roles is prioritization.
  • Patients seen by medical priority.
  • When prioritizing a patient, I need to make sure that I place the highest needs on those whose health is affected by their airway, breathing, or circulation (ABCs). 
  • Prioritization means placing the highest importance on those patients whose physiological needs (oxygen level, safety, body temperature regulation, etc...) are at risk. The patient presenting with breathing difficulty would be the higher priority.
  • While prioritizing the patient with breathing difficulties, I will immediately take their vitals, with emphasis on their O2 saturation. If necessary I will have respiratory provide a breathing treatment and have the physician see this patient first. Once this patient has been stabilized I will then move on to the patient who presented with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. I will continue to prioritize patients as their need changes and new patients check into the emergency clinic.
  • Using prioritization is paramount in establishing patients' needs so that those with the most urgent requirements are taken care of first. This allows for both fluid and effective time management. 
  • Emergency Clinic Nurse Prioritization
  • A nurse needs to be able to prioritize patient problems utilizing notions of urgency and importance to establish a preferential order to nursing interventions.
  • Nurses need to prioritize patients as high (if left untreated could result in harm to patient/others), intermediate (non emergent/non life-threatening), or low (affect patient's well being/long-term needs).
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