Assessing Signs & Symptoms of Illness
O – is for Observe
A – is for Assess
R – is for React
The first rule is to know the person you support.
You need to observe changes in the person that might indicate they are not feeling well.
How do you observe?
First, step back, be calm and alert.
Then use your nose, ears, eyes and sense of touch to find clues that will help you discover what is wrong when someone is feeling sick.
Also check to see if anything in the environment (the house, outdoors, or work place) may have contributed to a change.
Observe with your eyes, your ears, your nose, with your sense of touch…changes based on your memory of the person.
You need to assess what the changes are that you have observed. Are the changes sudden or have you noticed them gradually over time?
Why do you need to assess what ou have observed? So you can choose the best course of action to support the individual and help him/her feel better.
Four (4) signs that will help you assess whether or not someone is ill:
-an elevated body temperature
-behavior changes that might indicate pain, illness or confusion
-various symptoms of illess
-recognizing medication side effects
R is for React
Respond – picking the right one based on your observations and assessment of the situtations as well as the signs and symptoms you have identified.
– provide treatment for common ailments
– call a health care professional for advice
– provide comfort cares
Report – by phone or in written format, what happened, when, how, results, to whom did you report, how did you report it and when did you report it.
Record – record or document your observations, assessment, reaction and follow-up plan.
– make sure you include the following:
Monitor the person’s symptoms. Until they are gone or until your co-workes come to relieve you. Make sure your co-worker is comfortable with the specific situation and can and will do the follow-up care before you leave.