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The purpose of this essay is to discuss the importance of assessment.

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The purpose of this essay is to discuss the importance of assessment. The author will firstly discuss the importance of nursing assessment. The author will then briefly discuss the role of the nurse in assessing and identifying risk factors in relation to infection control and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This will be followed by an in depth discussion of pain assessment and the analysis of a pain assessment tool, followed by a conclusion. Assessment is the first stage of the nursing process and begins with the collection of information about a patient (Hinchliff et al, 2003). Assessment commences as soon as a nurse meets a patient for the first time and may be a continuous process depending on a patients' condition and needs (Hinchliff et al, 2003). The Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC, 2002) Code of Professional Conduct state that patients' information gained at assessment should be treated as confidential. Infection is the invasion of the body by pathogenic microorganisms and their duplication, which can lead to tissue damage and disease (Heath, 2002). The chain of infection consists of an infectious agent, reservoir, portal of exit, mode of transmission, portal of entry and host (Filetoth, 2003). There are various infections that can effect a patient namely urinary tract infection and Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus MRSA. ...read more.


Passive exercises for those patients that are immobile as it helps with blood circulation and therefore reduces the risk of a DVT forming. Deep breathing as it provides oxygen to the blood cells and anti-coagulants to reduce clotting. Anti-embolism stockings could be worn to speed up the blood flow by graduated compression or a venous plexus foot pump could be provided to squeeze the sole of the feet to help with circulation of blood in immobile patients. Anti coagulant medication such as warfarin or heparin could also be administered as it disrupts the clotting process (Merli, 2003). There are various ways in which a DVT can be detected namely by a venogram, ultrasound or MRI (Autar, 2001). The international association for the study of pain (2001) state that pain is "an unpleasant, sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damaged or described in terms of such damage". In 1965 Melzack & Wall proposed the Gate Control Theory of pain. Their theory suggests that mechanisms in the spinal cord can block pain impulses so that they do not reach the brain; this is called gating. The gate can be opened by the release of excitatory neurotransmitter chemicals and can be closed by the release of inhibitory neurotransmitters and neuromodulators (Beretta, 2003) It is important to assess pain as it gives patients the opportunity to express their pain. ...read more.


It is therefore important for the nurse to assess a patients' level of pain in other ways as well. This could include verbalisation and observing the patients' facial expression. It is also possible to observe a patients' body language and activity levels to assess the amount of pain that they are in. The management of pain can be achieved in various ways. Pharmacologically by using an analgesic ladder. For chronic pain such as cancer the world health organisation (WHO, 2002) analgesic ladder can be used. Pain can also be managed non-pharmacologically for example by positioning, massage, distraction, giving information and listening. Pain has various effects on a patient. Physiologically it can affect their heart rate, blood pressure and respiration rate. It could also affect their mobility and loss of function. Psychologically it can bring on fear, anxiety, depression, irritability and anger (Davis, 2000). It is therefore important for nurses to carry out a thorough assessment of a patients pain to promote their well-being. It should also be noted that pain is whatever the patient says it is. In conclusion it can be seen that a thorough assessment is needed in every aspect of patient care. By conducting a thorough assessment a nurse is able to determine what a patient can and cannot do and also to identify risk factors. By assessing a nurse is able to set short and long term goals for a patient and by completing the nursing process. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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