How to perform respiratory assessment
Intended for healthcare professionals
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How to perform respiratory assessment

Joyce Smith Lecturer in adult nursing, University of Salford, Salford, England
Melanie Rushton Lecturer in adult nursing, University of Salford, Salford, England

Rationale and key points

This article aims to assist practitioners to perform a respiratory assessment.

A logical and structured approach to respiratory assessment, such as the ‘look, listen and feel’ approach, should be undertaken.

The respiratory rate is an early indicator of deterioration of a patient’s condition.

Signs of clinical deterioration should be responded to in a timely manner.

A track and trigger scoring tool can be used to evaluate physiological data, develop a management plan and indicate future investigations.

Reflective activity

Clinical skills articles can help update your practice and ensure it remains evidence based. Apply this article to your practice. Reflect on and write a short account of:

How reading this article will change your practice when performing a respiratory assessment.

Any further learning needs you have identified to extend your professional development.

Subscribers can update their reflective accounts at:

Nursing Standard. 30, 7, 34-36. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.7.34.s45


Peer review

All submissions are subject to external double-blind peer-review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Received: 13 October 2014

Accepted: 04 December 2014

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