Long-Term Care

Intake and output monitoring

LTC Nursing Assistant Trainer, February 11, 2010

You should monitor residents who have fluid imbalances or are at high risk of dehydration by calculating intake and output (I&O) each shift. Take I&O monitoring seriously. Set a realistic intake goal for each shift. Most fluid is consumed on the day shift, with the least consumed on nights. Thus, set a specific goal for each shift. Setting a goal will tell the nurse at a glance whether the resident has consumed enough fluid on his or her shift. If not, the CNA should encourage fluids before leaving for the day. When establishing goals for fluid intake, fluid is usually divided as follows:

  • Day shift:          1/2 of total 24-hour fluid goal
  • Second shift:     1/3 of total 24-hour fluid goal
  • Third shift:        1/6 of total 24-hour fluid goal

For residents with a fluid restriction, total fluid allowance for each shift can be distributed in the same quantity listed above. Modify the amounts listed as necessary to personalize fluid intake to the resident’s individual needs.

This is an excerpt from HCPro’s book, The Long-Term Care Nursing Desk Reference, Second Edition, by Barbara Acello, MS, RN.

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