Seven steps to ensure accurate I & O records
LTC Nursing Assistant Trainer, February 18, 2004
Accurately measuring and recording fluid intake and output are important aspects of resident care. Monitoring a resident's fluid balance with an intake and output record (I & O) allows nursing staff to prevent dehydration, fluid retention, and other problems related to fluid imbalance.
To ensure accurate I & O records. . .
- Ask for the resident's assistance in tracking fluid intake and outtake, if possible. Explain that their intake and output will be measured and the reason for the procedure.
- Ask the resident frequently if they have consumed any fluids between meals and add that amount to the I & O sheet.
- Place the I & O sheet in its designated place.
- Record oral intake immediately after meals, even before removing the tray.
- Record the output measurements immediately after they are measured.
- Estimate the amount of output for incontinent or perspiring residents by recording, "incontinent large amount of urine" or "perspiring heavily." Use a plus (+) sign after any total that includes an estimated amount.
- Report inadequate intakes and outputs to the charge nurse.
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