Saturday, June 9, 2012


When teaching nursing students I find the need to be systematic in every approach is essential. One technique is to have nursing students use the OLDCART acronym when interviewing a patient's physical complaint. This  acronym is not always taught and soon forgotten after it is taught in school but it allows for students to think in a systematic approach.

O  Onset of symptom
L   Location of symptom
D   Duration of symptom
C   Characteristic of symptom
A   Aggravating factors
R   Relieving factors
T   Treatment

One great aspect of this approach is that is also useful for the student to write their nursing note or progress using the same approach. Often time when students try to write notes they have a difficult time determine what should and shouldn't be included. This allows the student to focus on the necessary details of what should be included. Additionally, using a systemic approach allows for fewer details to be missed.

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