What is the best way to asses respirations?

For assessing the patient this is what one should do:

  • Explain to the patient what you are about to do – even if the patient is unconscious.
  • Ensure the patient is comfortable.
  • Make sure the patient is as relaxed as possible.
  • Observe if the patient is distressed in any way.
  • It is best to monitor and record the respiration's immediately after taking the pulse – this will aid in a more accurate recording, as the patient will not be aware that you are observing respiration's. Awareness that respiration's are being recorded can make people alter their breathing.
  • Observe the rise and fall of the chest (inspiration and expiration) - this counts as one breath.
  • The respiration's should be counted for a full minute in order to have an accurate recording.
  • Note the pattern of breathing and the depth of the breaths.
  • Document your findings on the patient’s observation chart, note any changes and report to the medical team.
  • Before leaving ensure the patient is comfortable.