In order to assess the patient’s basic vital functions, their blood pressure, pulse, frequency of breathing, and blood oxygen saturation are measured. Often blood sugar is examined as well, and an electrocardiogram (ECG) is taken. Depending on the symptoms, many other measurements and examinations may be conducted.
The interview seeks to determine not only the patient’s basic vital functions, but any chronic illnesses they may suffer, the medications they use, and any possible allergies.
During the interview, the nurse will provide the patient with information related to the emergency department visit. The patient has the opportunity to pose questions on anything that may trouble them and receive advice to help them through the emergency department visit. Together with the patient the easiest and safest way for them to wait to be received for treatment is determined. The patient is also instructed on what to do if their condition worsens during the wait.