The number of times, a person breathes in 60 seconds (or 1 minute), is called respiration rate. This gets changed when a person suffers from any medical condition or undergoes some kind of stress. It is, therefore, important to record and count the respiration rate of the patient regularly to prevent any serious problem in the future. While measuring the respiration rate of some patients, you may note a sudden dip or hike in the patient’s respiration rate. It is due to irregular breathing patterns, and you should note down any difference. Record the pulse rate before measuring the respiration rate for a more consistent reading.
A person normally breathes 12-18 times in 1 minute. This count may decrease if the person lies down on his back during sleeping or takes narcotic drugs. This count increases if the person is under stress, performs rigorous physical activity, has pain due to some reasons or has some respiratory infection like asthma, etc.
There are a few important checkpoints which the examiner notices while you perform this activity:
A CNA professional must know how to measure the respiration rate of the patient properly. This is a significant diagnostic method that helps analyze many ailments. In most nursing homes, CNA experts measure the respiration rate every 15 seconds, and then multiply the resultant by 4. However, in actual practice, one must measure the respiration rate every 30 seconds and then multiply the resultant by 2. Count for 60 seconds in case of irregular beats.
Sometimes either the patient is not comfortable while you place your hand on his chest to measure the respiratory rate or you do not feel comfortable in checking the respiration in this manner. Depending upon your and patient’s comfort level and medical condition, you can follow these steps:
During the CNA examination, you must be aware of the standard count before measuring. In case, you have any kind of difficulty in counting the respiratory rate, let the examiner know about it. S/he will guide you in measuring correctly. Never try to use a fake result as you may be caught and fail in exam.