The Methodical Approach
Having a methodical approach to patient care is essential for your success. If you simply go out the door and wing it every time be rest assured you will miss important things. But, what exactly is a methodical approach? Simple, the approach you take to a given situation. For example, have you considered your methodical approach for assessing a respiratory patient? What are you methodically looking for and assessing as you approach the patient? Is the patient sick or not sick? Understand that sick implies the need for an immediate life saving intervention while not sick implies you have more time to assess and evaluate the chief complaint. What six things can you methodically assess for on the respiratory patient while you're approaching them? Respiratory Rate, Position, Dyspnea, Accessory Muscle use, Audible sounds, skin sighs. BOOM! Now, methodically assess for those 6 things while approaching every respiratory patient. Take that information and interpret it, what is it telling you? What questions do you methodically ask? What interventions are you going to methodically use? Do you methodically listen to lung sounds (the same way every time)? This is a simple example of some questions you can ask yourself about the methodical approach. Now, you should develop methodical approaches for various patients. Your approach to a trauma patient should be different than your approach to chest pain patient, however, you can still listen to lung sounds methodically, or still methodically assess for the simple 6 up above right? Taking time to develop your methodical approach is well worth it. It will immediately decrease your mistakes and will immediately improve your confidence. Go on and try it. Take one thing you think you should improve on and develop a method by which to approach it.