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?
One thought on “PQRSTU, are you using it into your nursing assessment? or the OLD CARTS?”
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