Nursing Continue Education

PQRSTU, are you using it into your nursing assessment? or the OLD CARTS?


P – Provocative or palliative (What brings it on? What were you doing first noticed it? What makes it better or worse?)

Q – Quality or quantity (Describe the character and location of the symptoms; How does it look, feel, sound? How intense/ severe is it?)

R – Region or radiation (Where is it? Does the symptom radiate to other areas of the body?).

S – Severity (How bad is it? Ask the patient to quantify the symptom(s) on a scale of 0-10. Is it getting better, worse, staying the same?)

T – Timing (Inquire about the time of onset – exactly when did it first occur? duration – how long did it last? frequency – how often does it occur? etc.)

U – Understand the Patient’s Perception of the problem (What do you think it means?)

Or if you are using the OLD CARTS assessment tool? 


Onset: When did the pain start?

Location: where does it actually hurt?

Duration: how long does it last?

Characteristics: Dull, achy, sharp, stabbing, pressure, etc.

Aggravating/ alleviating factors: what makes it worse? what makes it better?

Radiation: does it spread out from the place that hurts you the most? if so, where?

Treatments: what treatments have been used in the past and present? were they successful?

Severity: the scale of 0-10

Health Assessment Made Incredibly Visual (Incredibly Easy! Series®)

Personally, although it was not always the OLD CARTS, when I was performing pain assessment, it was so easy to relate them to the process such as: please tell me where’s your pain? when did your pain start? what it feels like dull, aching, sharp, or etc.? please rate your pain on the scale of 0-10. Does the pain radiate? what makes it worse/ better? what treatments you have been using for your pain? is it help?

What do you think? what is your preference?

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