What do I need to learn in order to progress through my course? How do I achieve the best possible patient-care?

Professional Skills for Nurses answers both of these questions and supports the development of key nursing skills underpinned by theory. Designed specifically to meet the needs of nursing students in the initial stages of training, the book focuses on the essential knowledge and skills needed for effective patient-care while at the same time helping students to achieve the NMC outcomes required for entry into branch programs.

Each chapter focuses on a key aspect of nursing care backed up with practical tips, examples drawn from all branches of nursing, and a range of study activities to help you reflect on your learning and get the most from practice placements.

Key themes in healthcare such as ethics, evidence-based practice and health promotion are discussed throughout the book, highlighting how these relate to everyday nursing practice.

Focusing on the core skills covered in the initial stages of training, Professional Skills in Nursing is the ideal introduction for students during the Common Foundation Program.

Vital Signs and Neurological Observations Monitoring

Vital signs and neurological observations monitoring

Learning Outcomes

This chapter is designed to help you:

  • understand the principles of monitoring vital signs
  • understand the methods used to observe and record (a) temperature, (b) pulse, (c) respiration, (d) oxygen saturation, (e) blood pressure and (f) neurological observations
  • be aware of complications that may occur when monitoring vital signs
  • understand what action is required when abnormalities occur.


The monitoring of vital signs and neurological observations helps to assess an individual's health status and to indicate any changes in that status. The monitoring, recording and interpreting of vital signs and neurological observations enables nurses to make assessments and to plan, implement and evaluate care and treatment. The NMC (2007) identifies that students must be able ...

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