A 52-year-old patient on the surgical floor has a blood pressure of 128/72, a heart rate of 125, a respiratory rate of 32, and a temperature of 99.1 degrees fahrenheit. The patient complains of severe shortness of breath. Which of the following should the nurse assess first?


•The clinical findings suggest a pulmonary embolism or other acute pulmonary problems.

•A change in breath sounds will give the nurse more information regarding the patient's situation.

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