Hey everybody! Nice rainy day here in Seattle, WA (shocking...), decided to do a little review of medical patient assessment until the clouds decided to part and life in the Pacific Northwest can continue.
Line of questioning for providers is essential, especially in medical patients. It can be the difference between knowing exactly what is going on with the patient and looking like a bafoon in the ED. Now with trauma patients and specific-complaint medical patients, OPQRST contributes an amazing amount of guidance and servitude for the provider's line of questioning. Abdominal pain? Chest pain? Perfect. Done and done. Get your SAMPLE, finish your diagnostics, confirm your suspicions, and continue to execute a care plan.
What about vague complaints? We've all seen these and I can bet you've been as frustrated as I when you try to fit this square peg into the round hole that is OPQRST. OPQRST can be tweaked, sure, but it doesn't seem as... neat. It just seemed to me that vague complaints and complaints that do not fit into the "pain" realm need a clear, guiding questioning mnemonic even more than those that do. So one night early in paramedic school, I came up with OPRAH. And OPRAH has served me quite well. I will share:
So there it is guys. Definitely recommend using this in conjunction WITH OPQRST and along with your SAMPLE, you will feel like you have your medical bases covered. Not a end-all, but I think it's a good addition to anyone's list of alphabets! What do ya'll think?
Time for a Starbucks run, methinks!