But with the many ways to assess a patient, assessment has become an overwhelming process. To be more systematic, here are 6 nursing assessment mnemonics you can use to accurately and quickly assess variety of patients in different conditions.
AVPU is a mnemonic to assess for alertness.
|Description||Adult Behavior||Pediatric Behavior|
|A||Alert||Client’s eyes open spontaneously; appears aware of and responsive to the environment; follows commands eyes tract peoples and objects.||Child is active and responds appropriately to parents and other external stimuli.|
|V||Response to Verbal Stimuli||Patient’s eyes do not open spontaneously but open to verbal stimuli. Patient is able to respond in some meaningful way when spoken to.||Response only when his or her name is called by parents.|
|P||Response to Pain||Patient does not respond to questions but moves or cries out in response to a painful stimulus such as pinching the skin or earlobe.||Response only when painful stimulus is received, such as pinching the nail bed.|
|U||Unresponsive||Patient does not respond to any stimuli.||No response at all.|
2. SAMPLE for History Assessment
Remember SAMPLE when obtaining patient history.
||Patient’s chief complaints|
||Seeking to know what type of allergic reaction they experience|
||Prescribed, Over the counter, herbal meds and etc are asked.|
|P||Past Medical History||
||Seeking to know the previous state of health, and previous illnesses.|
|L||Last Oral Intake||
||Seeking what are the last oral intakes of the client.|
|E||Events leading up to the illness or injury||
||Seeking to know how his present status happened.|
3. DCAP-BTLS Rapid Assessment
DCAP-BTLS is especially useful during emergency cases.
|A||Abrasions (consider bony prominences for pressure sores)|
|P||Punctures or Penetrations|
CAGE mnemonic is a diagnostic tool for alcohol problems.
|C||Concern by the person that there is a problem||Have you ever felt that you should Cut down on your drinking?|
|A||Apparent to others that there is a problem||Have you ever become Annoyed by criticisms of your drinking?|
|G||Grave consequences||Have you ever felt Guilty about your drining?|
|E||Evidence of dependence or tolerance||Have you ever had a morning Eye opener to get rid of a hangover?|
5. ABCDEFGHI Trauma Assessment
The ABCDEFGHI mnemonic is used for a quick assessment of trauma patients. This is especially useful for emergency cases.
|D||Disability (neurologic status)|
|E||Expose (remove clothing, keep the patient warm)|
|F||Full set of vital signs|
|G||Give comfort measures|
|I||Inspect posterior surfaces|
6. CAUTION for Seven Warning Signs of Cancer
The CAUTION mnemonic is used by the American Cancer Society to detect and recognize the early warning signs of cancer.
|C||Change in bowel or bladder habits|
|A||A sore throat that does not heal|
|U||Unusual bleeding or discharge|
|T||Thickening or lump in breast or elsewhere|
|I||Indigestion or dysphagia|
|O||Obvious change in wart or mole|
|N||Nagging cough or hoarseness|
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