Dr. Patel, Rm 1 is a 19 yr old female complaining of sore throat & fever, going in to check her vitals now. Rm 2 is a 32 yr old male that just came in following a MVA, reporting headache & pain in his right tibia, has elevated HR and slow pupillary reaction. He is currently gone for CT and xrays now.
Stable vs. Unstable Assessment
Your vitals are good even with a 101.5 temp. Your strep throat culture is in the lab, so just rest here and a doctor will be in soon to discuss things.
I'm burning up and just want a cough drop. Why has it taking so long?
Stabilize Acute Patient
Let's start by stabilizing his fractured tibia with a cast. His CT scans are clear indicating a possible concussion from the MVA.
Doctor, Rm 1 is stable. Mr. Smith, the trauma team is here to help with pain and stabilize your leg. Your heart rate is high and your pupils indicate possible head trauma. I will continue to monitor your vitals.
Nurse: Giving SBAR to the ER doctor. Nurses play a vital role in prioritization of patient care along with communication with the health care team. They are the first to see patient's and must assess patients based on priority involving Airway, Breathing and Circulation.
Nurse: Assessing patient to ensure they are stable while tending to a more acute patient. With vitals within normal range and only a fever, the nurse can make a preliminary diagnosis of infection and proceed to caring for another patient. Both patient's must be cared for, but the acuity determines priority of action.
Nurse: Plays important role in calling trauma unit to respond to MVA patient with possible head trauma, educates client on procedures, and monitors vitals along with trauma team ready in case of decline in status or possible obstructed airway.