Chapter Objectives:

  1. Obtain accurate vital signs using correct techniques.
  2. Recognize deviations from normal when assessing vital signs.
  3. DocumentĀ vital signs accurately.
  4. Identify the age appropriate tools to assess a patient for pain.
  5. Obtain pain history.
  6. Describe the different types of pain.
  7. Document the Pain Assessment findings.
Overview of this chapter:

In performing a thorough, comprehensive and meaningful health assessment, an important activity is obtaining vital signs. This is typically done before obtaining the rest of the patient’s health history, or prior to performing an objective examination or physical assessment. Accurate measurement of vital signs is necessary but it is also important for the nurse to learn the significance of each vital sign to the current patient status. This is essential to developing sound nursing clinical judgment and decision-making. Although pain assessment is included as one of the vital signs, pain assessment will be discussed separately in this chapter.

Vital Signs

  1. Below is the link to a thorough discussion and illustration on measuring vital signs across the lifespan. Read the entire guide to help you learn essential information and steps to accurate measurement.

Pain Assessment

The book chapter in the link below provides adequate information on pain assessment. Read and integrate pain assessment concepts in assessing patient’s health status.


Ā Putting it together: practical skills:


Citations and Attributions:

Lapum, J.L et al Vital Sign Measurement Across the Lifespan. eCampusOntario.Ā

Pain Assessment by British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License,

RegisteredNurseRN. (2019)Vital Signs Nursing: Respiratory Rate, Pulse, Blood Pressure, Temperature, Pain, Oxygen Saturation.



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Guide to Health Assessment for Nurses Copyright © by Raki Bertiz and Ching-Chuen Feng is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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