So, a little while ago, I got an email from
a student asking, “Christina! How do I keep all of these signs and symptoms
straight?! Every disorder has different signs and symptoms,
so how do I know if the blood pressure increases or decreases, or if the heart rate goes up
or down?! HELP!” Friend, I totally get it. This is a HUGE struggle for nursing students,
keeping all of those signs and symptoms straight for your med-surg classes. And so today, I’m going to go walk you through
the signs and symptoms of shock. Let’s dive in! Hey there friend, my name is Christina Rafano
from and here on the nursing school show, we give you the tips
and the resources that you need to save time AND raise your grades in nursing school. And today, we’re talking about the signs and
symptoms of shock. And this one, girlfriend, is going to be a
good one. Because I am going start by telling you my
ONE secret to acing med-surg exams, are you ready? You need to learn the PATHOPHYSIOLOGY FIRST,
before you learn anything else! That’s right, the pathophysiology of the disorder
is the most important thing for you to know, because, everything else that you learn will
stem from it. So let’s walk through the signs and symptoms
of shock, and I’ll show you what I mean. Now of course, each type of shock will have
it’s own set to specific signs and symptoms, but generally speaking, these general one’s
here may appear for most types of shock. The largest exception is neurogenic shock,
which tends to present quite differently than what we’ll talk about here in this video. So here are the major signs and symptoms of
shock that we’ll talk about: increased heart rate, increased respiratory rate, decreased
blood pressure, thready pulse, decreased peripheral pulses, cyanosis, neurological symptoms like
restlessness, anxiety, confusion, lethargy, or muscle weakness, decreased urine output,
and absent bowel sounds. So looking at this list, you might be getting
really overwhelmed and wondering how in the world can you memorize all of this. And here’s where learning the pathophysiology
FIRST is super important. You don’t have to memorize this list. Let’s think about the pathophysiology of shock,
what’s really going on? Shock basically just means a lack of blood
flow to the organs, which can lead to organ failure. So this means there’s reduced blood flow to
the heart, the lungs, the brain, the kidneys, and all of the other organs, right? And now, knowing just that basic pathophysiology
of shock, let’s take another look at this list again and do some critical thinking. What do all of these signs and symptoms have
in common? They all have to do with a lack of blood flow! So, the body always wants to stay in balance
right. So when the organs aren’t getting enough blood,
they are going to send signals to your brain that say, “Umm hello up there! I need some blood please!” And the brain is going to send a signal to
the heart to pump faster to try to get more blood, it’s going to tell the lungs to breathe
faster to get more oxygen flowing, the blood pressure is going to drop because the heart
isn’t able to pump out as much blood as it was before. The pulses will be also be thready, the peripheral
pulses will be diminished, and cyanosis may occur because of the lack of blood flow those
parts of the body. The patient may also have neurological symptoms
like restlessness, anxiety, confusion, lethargy or muscle weakness, because of the brain and
muscles aren’t getting as much blood. And if the brain isn’t getting as much blood
as it needs, it gets super unhappy, and that’s when you may see some of those mental status
changes happen. Decreased urine output and absent bowel sounds
can also occur because there isn’t enough blood going to the kidneys or the GI tract,
so they can’t do their job as well. So all of these major signs and symptoms of
shock are all connected with that underlying pathophysiology – the lack of blood flow to
the organs! So how stinking cool is it that you can just
learn the pathophysiology, and then BAM! Your amazing critical thinking skills can
walk you through the rest. You won’t need to spend hours and hours stressing
about memorizing a long list of signs and symptoms. You’ll already know them once you know the
pathophysiology. Super awesome right!! And so those are the general signs and symptoms
of shock. They all have to do with the underlying pathophysiology:
a lack of blood flow to the body, which can lead to organ failure. And of course, if you want a deeper dive into
shock, it’s pathophysiology, nursing assessment and nursing interventions, you’ll definitely
want to jump into the NursingSOS Membership community, where we’ve got all those videos
for you and a whole lot more. You are going to love it. And I’m super excited to see you in there! Fantastic job, girlfriend! If you loved this video,ake sure to hit that
like button, share it with a friend, and make sure you subscribe and hit
the bell so you never miss out on a future video. Now go become the nurse that God created only
YOU to be. And I’ll catch you next time on the nursing
school show, take care.


  1. You explained everything very well, but being overly enthusiastic while doing it is just irritating in some way – I managed to stay with you till the end of the video- but it was a struggle. It's just a thiny critique – no over the top enthusiasm and unnecessary quips and you'll probably get more subscribers 🙂

  2. Awesome!! I feel like I've learned more watching three of your videos compared to the last month of studying and reading a confusing textbook. Do you have any videos of the steps of shock? (initial, non progressive, progressive, and refractory stage)

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