View All Articles
  • 22 April 2022
  • 7 min read

Physical Health Monitoring In An Inpatient Setting

Subscribe To Advice
  • Plaxedes Makonise
    Registered Mental Health Nurse
    • Mat Martin
    • Richard Gill
    • Oladolapo Jonah
  • 0
  • 283
Physical monitoring can be more frequent depending on the situation and it is very important that all Healthcare Workers are fully aware of signs that a patient’s condition is deteriorating.“Physical monitoring can be more frequent depending on the situation and it is very important that all Healthcare Workers are fully aware of signs that a patient’s condition is deteriorating.”

Plaxedes talks about monitoring the physical well-being of patients and explains why it’s so important that it is done effectively.

Topics Covered In This Article

What Is Physical Health Monitoring?

Why Is Physical Health Monitoring Important?

What Equipment Is Used For Physical Health Monitoring?

What Skills Or Qualifications Are Required To Monitor Physical Health?

What Are The Steps Taken To Ensure Physical Health Is Monitored?

What Parameters Are Usually Checked During Physical Health Monitoring?

What Preparations Are Made For Physical Health Monitoring?

What Other Professionals Are Involved In Physical Health Monitoring In A Health Setting?

What Other Skills Do Healthcare Workers Require With Physical Health Monitoring?

What Are The Other Benefits Of Physical Health Monitoring?

Search Jobs

1000s of jobs for Nurses & Care Professionals. No.1 for UK nursing, care & healthcare jobs.

Search Jobs

What Is Physical Health Monitoring?

Physical Health Monitoring is a top priority for all patients admitted to hospital.

It is a monitoring tool used in healthcare to ensure one’s physical wellbeing.

It is important to ensure that physical health is monitored consistently and effectively for the sake of the patient.

Why Is Physical Health Monitoring Important?

To monitor physical wellbeing and intervene in a timely fashion should the patient's condition deteriorate and have a risk management or care plan in place for intervention is essential to prevent complications and deteriorating physical health.

To escalate and refer for further treatment and prevent complications of cardiac arrest and death is also a must. Finally, we must ensure good practice and follow local Policies on Physical Health Monitoring and Wellbeing and National Early Warning Signs (NEWS) formerly referred to as Track and Trigger.

NEWS is a brainchild of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

What Do You Think?

Ask questions, comment and like this article below! Share your thoughts, add your opinion in the comments below.

Comment

What Equipment Is Used For Physical Health Monitoring?

A range of specialised medical devices are used, and these can vary depending on the speciality or area.

More sophisticated devices are used in Emergency Care and Intensive Care Units in serious instances.

What Skills Or Qualifications Are Required To Monitor Physical Health?

Doctors, Qualified Nurses and Nursing Assistants who have been trained in the competencies can monitor physical health.

In some circumstances, the trained Nurse will have to recheck as some vital signs have to be checked with the patient in sitting standing and lying position in sudden collapse.

To monitor, intervene timely and escalate for further treatment in Acute Care.

Where possible, prevent cardiac arrest. The Healthcare Worker should be knowledgeable on the normal and abnormal ranges so that they can report times as per local protocol.

Become A Community Contributor

Share your story to help and inspire others. Write or create a video about your job or your opinions!

Contribute

What Are The Steps Taken To Ensure Physical Health Is Monitored?

This may vary in areas but in my work area physical health monitoring starts right at the point of admission or entry.

The Doctors complete a thorough and full physical Examination and collect previous physical health history, Family and Social History.

This is to check if there are any genetic health illnesses in families.

For example; Blood Pressure, Diabetes and Mental Health Illnesses.

The Ward Doctor must also work with the patient ‘s GPs to ensure all health issues are kept in check.

They might be need for referral and follow-up with the GP.

What Parameters Are Usually Checked During Physical Health Monitoring?

Physical Health monitoring involves checking the following parameters:

Blood Pressure, Temperature, Pulse Rate, Respirations Rate, Saturation Rates ensuring these are within normal therapeutic ranges.

It is also important to monitor alertness at all times.

This will help the practitioner recognise early signs of deterioration in patient’s condition.

Physical Health Monitoring also includes Point of Entry Urinalysis and Drug Screening, BM (glucose checks), swallowing difficulties, height and weight and calculating the Body Mass index (BMI) and discussing options available to help reduce their weight and the benefits of a healthy weight.

Physical monitoring can be more frequent depending on the situation and it is very important that all Healthcare Workers are fully aware of signs that patient’s condition is deteriorating.

They must be ready to resuscitate a deteriorating patient and escalate for further treatment at Hospital.

Other investigations such as blood taking and Xrays can be requested later.

Further specialist consultations can be requested which include surgical interventions, psychologist and mental health practitioners.

What Preparations Are Made For Physical Health Monitoring?

A warm room or environment should be prepared.

The Nurse should always explain the procedure, rationale for checking and what will happen next, reassure and offer brief information on healthy living.

The Nurse will also ensure patient comfort and explain the results or refer to the Nurse in Charge or Doctor where needed.

The Nurse or Healthcare Worker checking vital signs should ensure all equipment is clean in working order and calibrated especially BM machines before use.

The Nurse should be competent to check vital signs,record and report where needed.

Infection Control and Prevention Policy should be followed at all times.

The Nurse should always clean and wipe the device after use on every patient and also check on single -use equipment.

What Other Professionals Are Involved In Physical Health Monitoring In A Health Setting?

Abdominal circumference is also measured for future reference to check any weight loss or gain during admission.

It is important to obtain information about previous or historical physical illnesses, illicit substance misuse, or drug and alcohol dependence.

It is important to obtain information about previous or historical physical illnesses, illicit substance misuse, or drug and alcohol dependence.

A food and fluid intake/output chart is also important to monitor and detect any signs of swallowing difficulties and dehydration.

The first 72 hours are crucial and vital signs should be checked twice daily unless the patient has, for example, a raised blood pressure or temperature.

Special attention needs to be taken in patients with Diabetes who need BM checks before every meal.

Anything raised beyond normal should be reported immediately and appropriate intervention taken.

Physical Health is a broad exercise which may include Physiotherapists, Dietician, Physical Health Lead and Gym Instructor. If there is any concerns referrals should be made appropriately.

A Physical Health Monitoring Care Plan is put in place to ensure continuous monitoring and detect any changes.

The patient should also be actively involved and motivated to participate in outdoor activities.

They should also be offered information on keeping health and leaflets given on eating and living a Healthy Lifestyle.

What Other Skills Do Healthcare Workers Require With Physical Health Monitoring?

The Healthcare Worker should attend Basic Life Support and Intermediate Life Support Training and this is Mandatory in the NHS and should be attended annually.

The Healthcare Worker should be competent to read, record, report and escalate after noting signs of deterioration.

They should be knowledgeable about the Chain of Prevention and Chain of Survival in line with local policy.

What Are The Other Benefits Of Physical Health Monitoring?

The patient should also be actively involved and motivated to participate in outdoor activities.

They should also be offered information on keeping health and leaflets given on eating and living a healthy lifestyle.

Patients involved will feel good and avoid conditions like obesity and endocrine complications.

About the author

  • Plaxedes Makonise
    Registered Mental Health Nurse

I am a RMN, dual trained Overseas as Midwife and General Nurse. Did my Adaptation in Oxford UK to register as RMN. Worked in Rehab, Acute Wards and now in All Male 10-bedded PICU.I am a Practice Assessor and Carers Lead. I get involved in annual Charity Events and enjoy, reading, writing and walking. and Networking.

Nurses.co.uk Advice

Subscribe to receive advice, insights and inspiration to help you progress your career.

Subscribe

Care Professionals Helping One Another

Nurses.co.uk is a community where people like you can contribute and share advice. Learn & never miss out on updates. Subscribe to be part of our community.

  • Plaxedes Makonise
    Registered Mental Health Nurse

About the author

  • Plaxedes Makonise
    Registered Mental Health Nurse

I am a RMN, dual trained Overseas as Midwife and General Nurse. Did my Adaptation in Oxford UK to register as RMN. Worked in Rehab, Acute Wards and now in All Male 10-bedded PICU.I am a Practice Assessor and Carers Lead. I get involved in annual Charity Events and enjoy, reading, writing and walking. and Networking.

    • Mat Martin
    • Richard Gill
    • Oladolapo Jonah
  • 0
  • 283

Want to get involved in the discussion
Sign In Join