Hi friends! Today marks the start of my 3rd week of the semester and I’ve already taken my first exam! Can you believe it? Nursing school sure doesn’t waste any time!
After our test, one of the school organizations that I’m a member of (which I totally encourage you to join one if you haven’t already!) had its first meeting of the semester, and on the agenda was sharing test-taking and study strategies to help students succeed.
We got into a big group discussion with students from all levels giving each other tips and advice, which was freakin’ fabulous! And during this, one of my friends brought up this totally awesome study/note-taking strategy that I had never heard of.
It’s called the LATTE Method and come to find out, it’s not only a delicious drink but also a helpful method to help nursing students focus on the priority concepts of patient care when learning about different medical conditions.
So what is this tasty method all about anyway? Grab yourself a latte and let’s find out!
**The LATTE method was originally created by straightanursingstudent.com**
The L stands for “Looks like.”
Use the LATTE method to think about:
- What physical signs will you observe when the patient has the condition?
- Will the patient have jaundice or pale skin? How about redness? A distended abdomen? Confused or restless?
- Consider all of your senses. What will you hear? Crackles in the lungs, complaints of pain?
- What will you feel by touch or palpation? Warm, moist skin from a fever? A rigid and tender abdomen?
- Then consider if there might be any smells, such as when there is an infection or glucose in the urine that can smell sweet or fruity.
The A stands for “Assess.”
Nurses constantly assess! So what are you going to look for? Well, think about what kind of problems the condition is causing…
- If the condition causes a fluid imbalance, you’ll monitor things such as intake and output, daily weight, hydration status, etc.
- Is it a perfusion problem? Then you’ll want to check the peripheral pulses, heart rate, blood pressure, etc.
- What types of assessments will you need to make? Are you going to complete a respiratory assessment? A neuro assessment? How about a full head-to-toe assessment? Vital signs? Health history and background?
The first T stands for “Tests” and includes labs.
Think about what diagnostic tests are used to diagnose the condition. What change in lab values might occur? And more importantly, what is the significance of those labs?
Medical tests can tell us a lot about what’s going on with a patient and so it’s very important to keep a close eye on these. Especially in the case of electrolyte imbalances, which can be life-threatening to your patient!
The second T stands for “Treatments.”
What treatments may be implemented for this condition? Will you need to give any IV fluids? Will the patient need to be prepared for surgery? If so, then we need to put them on NPO status!
Knowing what to expect is critical to prep the patient for future care and to have the best patient outcomes! You’ll also be able to recognize if an order should be questioned because it might be inappropriate for the patient.
E stands for Education… For both the patient AND the family.
Education is one of the main roles of the nurse. But many patients don’t know enough about their disease and how to take care of themselves. Patients and their families will likely have questions and concerns about their prognosis and how it’s going to affect their day-to-day lives.
It’s the job of the nurse to teach the patients how to manage their disease, which foods to avoid, prescribed diet changes, how to care for things such as ostomy bags, and how to administer insulin to themselves.
Also, know how to evaluate if they have learned what they need to know and when further teaching is required. Be aware of the resources available to help them learn, such as translators, nutrition coaches, online resources, and more.
Now that you know what it is, try out using the LATTE Method with a free printable template. 🙂
And then check out the free resources I have available for you to download!