The global elements of vital signs' assessment: A guide for clinical practice

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The assessment of vital signs is critical for safe, high-quality care. Vital signs' data provide valuable insight into the patient's condition, including how they are responding to medical treatment and, importantly, whether the patient is deteriorating. Although abnormal vital signs have been associated with poor clinical outcomes, research has consistently found that vital signs' assessment is often neglected in clinical practice. Factors contributing to this include nurses' knowledge, clinical judgement, culture, tradition and workloads. To emphasise the importance of vital signs' assessment, global elements of vital signs' assessment are proposed. The elements reflect key principles underpinning vital signs' assessment and are informed by evidence-based literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)956-962
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2021


  • Assessment
  • Global elements
  • Vital signs

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