Debra Wertheimer, MD
Interviews and Vignettes
$150 Purchase Price
Care Essentials: Vital Signs Plus
In this DVD, filmed on-location in a long term care facility, Dr. Debra Wertheimer, does “resident rounds” with nursing assistants, emphasizing the importance of the information they provide to the health care team. Each nursing assistant presents a resident to Dr. Wertheimer and the other nursing assistants. After taking vital signs and checking on the resident, the team discusses the importance of the information gathered and the observations.
The information gathering begins when a nursing assistant enters a resident’s room. During a morning greeting, the nursing assistant can quickly determine if there’s been a sudden change in the resident’s cognitive or emotional status. Is a communicative resident suddenly not interested in talking? Is a resident who is always alert suddenly confused? Even body position and facial expression provide information which can indicate pain.
Vital signs are key information for the health care team and sudden changes should be reported immediately. Nursing assistants also need to be aware that life threatening conditions or significant problems may not be revealed through vital signs. Conversation with the resident is necessary to augment the vital signs information. Questions such as: “Did you sleep well last night?” or “Are you in any pain?” should always be asked, as they can help identify problems. Some additional signs of potential problems include: loss of appetite; change in functional status; and change in mobility. Skin must also be checked for pressure sores, ulcers and tears.
Most importantly, the nursing assistant must know the residents they care for every day. They are the key experts who will be able to pick up on the changes they observe, and the entire team depends on this input.
Topics: vital signs, temperature, blood pressure, pressure sores, functional status, confusion, mobility, pain, long term care, nursing home, assisted living, nursing assistant
Audience: staff working in long term care, assisted living and day care; students in: nursing assistant programs; home health care programs; and allied health programs.
This program is part of the “Basic Care Guide for the Elderly” series.
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