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Flashcards in vital signs Deck (32):

why are vital signs important

Vital signs are important because they are indicators of the patients health status, they indicate effectiveness of circulatory, respiratory, neural, and endocrine body functions. They are used to determine a patients usual state of health and help identify the patients problem.


what are the guidelines for measuring vital signs

usual range of patient
stable environment when taking them
adequate equpiment and they are measuring correctly
always communicate about changes in the vital signs and letting them know of significant findings
medical history


why is it important to know both the range of a vital sign and your clients base line

The patients baseline can differ from the range of adequate vital signs so it is important to know their baseline because you can detect a change in condition over time. Its good to know the average range of vital signs because then you will know if something is wrong if they are far off.


what are the normal ranges of temperature?

oral/tympanic: 98.6
rectal: 99.5
axillary: 97.7


what is the average temperature range



what is the normal ranges or respirations

12-20 breaths/ min deep and regular


what is the normal range for pulse

60-100 beats/min strong and regular


what is the normal BP

120/80 mm Hg


how to you convert Fahrenheit to celsius

C=(F-32) X 5/9


how do you convert Celsius to Fahrenheit

(9/5 X C) +32


Define body temperature

Body temperate is the difference between the amount of heat produced by body processes and the amount lose to the external environment


what are some possible causes of alterations in body temperature

Environmental conditions
physical activity
Temperature of the deep tissues


what sites are utilized for obtaining a patients temperature

Rectal, oral, axial, temporal, tympanic, esophageal, pulmonary artery, or urinary bladder


Define pulse

The pulse is the palpable bounding of blood flow in a peripheral artery.


what are the 4 characteristics to asses when taking a pulse

rate, rhythm, strength and equality


where is radial pulse located

thumb side of arm


where is brachial pulse located

groove between biceps and triceps muscle


where is your apical pulse located

4th to 5th intercostal space at left midclavicular line


where is your femoral pulse located

below inguinal ligament


where is your popliteal pulse located

behind knee


where is posterior tibial pulse located

inner side of ankle


where is doornails pedis pulse located

top of foot


define respiration

Respiration is the mechanism the body uses to exchange gases between the atmosphere and the blood and the blood and the cells. Respiration involves perfusion, ventilation and diffusion


what constitutes one respiratory cycle

the process of breathing in and out
inhalation + exhalation = 1 respiratory cycle


What 3 characteristics should you assess when measuring respirations?

rate, pattern and depth along with SpO2 assesses ventilation, diffusion and perfusion


what is blood pressure

blood pressure is the force exerted on the walls of an artery by the pulsing blood under pressure from the heart.


what causes blood pressure

pressure changes cause it


what is the difference between systolic and diastolic

systolic is the peak of maximum pressure when ejection occurs and diastolic is the minimal pressure exerted against the partial walls at all times


What factors combine to form a blood pressure reading and how are they affected?

Cardiac output: rapid increase in HR decreases the filling time of the heart
peripheral resistance: as resistance rises, arterial BP rises
blood volume: an increase in blood volume exerts more pressure of artery walls
viscosity: affects the ease with which blood flows through small vessels
elasticity: as pressure within the arteries increases the diameter of the vessel increases


What factors can influence BP?

Age, stress, ethnicity, gender, daily variation, medications, activity, weight, and smoking


What is orthostatic hypotension?

Orthostatic hypotension occurs when a normotensive person develops symptoms and a drop in systolic pressure by at least 20mm Hg or a drop in diastolic pressure by atlas 10 mm Hg within 3 minutes of rising to an upright position.


. What is orthostatic hypotension?

assessing orthostatic hypotension during measurements of vital signs by obtaining BP and pulse in sequence with the patient supine, sitting and standing.