Acutely unwell patients frequently present with signs and symptoms of deterioration in their condition in the 24 hours preceding a critical event. However, these early warning signs are often missed, misunderstood and mismanaged, which can lead to worse outcomes for those patients. Nursing Acutely Ill Patients focuses on how nurses can identify and make good use of the window of opportunity afforded by early warning to ameliorate, and perhaps prevent, the spiral into critical events for patients. The text: provides an overview of early warning scoring systems, with a discussion of their evidence-base and applies them to the management of patients in medical and surgical ward settings. looks at key indicators for deterioration, such as changes in respiratory, haemodynamic and neurological functions, and fluid and electrolyte balance. explores how developing soft skills, such as decision-making, analysis, good communication and multiprofessional teamworking, can positively impact on the patient’s situation. Each chapter includes learning outcomes, key terms and a summary. Case studies throughout will be followed up with questions designed to help the reader reflect critically on their own practice. This text is designed to support pre-registration nurses and newly qualified nurses working in medical-surgical settings in preventing the deterioration of patients.
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