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. If the chain remains intact an infection will develop, it is therefore important to break the chain to prevent an infection from occurring. It is therefore important for a nurse to conduct a thorough assessment. The nurse should establish the source of infection and how it spreads. It is important to establish if there are any further risk factors and what the mental and physical condition is of the patient. The nurse should also consider if other patients or staff is at risk. There are various risk factors that make some people more at risk of infection then others these could include age, diabetes, surgery and certain illnesses such as cancer. Universal precautions should then be followed to break the chain of infection (McCulloch, 2000). Universal precautions include washing of hands, disposing of sharps and soiled linen in the correct manner. If a patient has a serious infection like TB or a hospital acquired infection like MRSA then local hospital policies should be followed. Assessment and identifying risk factors of infection is therefore important for nurses, however assessment includes various areas including the risk of developing a DVT.

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Deep vein thrombosis is due to the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein (Autar, 2003). A DVT can be formed due to three reasons known as Virchows Triad (Autar, 2001). These are of venous circulation, hypercougability and injury to veins (Autar, 2001). It is especially dangerous if the blood clot reaches the lungs causing a pulmonary embolus. It is therefore important to form an assessment to prevent a DVT from occurring. A common assessment tool used is the Aurtur scale. The Autar DVT risk assessment scale takes into account the patients age, mobility, trauma, body mass ...

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