Cough is a common symptom in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection that progresses to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), if not managed (University of California San Francisco, n.d.). Individuals with AIDS are susceptible to opportunistic infections that are associated with cough and other symptoms due to a weakened immune system. Cough is a common symptom of many illnesses and presents in different ways and therefore, a thorough evaluation is required to identify the cause (Busse, 2015).
For Mr. Parker, an AIDS patient presenting with cough, the nurse would ask various questions to obtain additional information on the onset, characteristics, associated factors, aggravating and alleviating factors. They include:
For how long have the patient had the cough?
Does it come and go?
Is it a dry or wet cough? If there is sputum, what is the color?
Does the cough worsen at a particular time of the day?
Is the cough associated with fever and chills, pain or shortness of breath when doing any activity?
Is there any factor that triggers the cough such as dust or cold?
Has the patient used any home remedies? If any, do they make the cough better?
These questions are important in determining if the patient’s cough is related to his condition or any other cause for appropriate treatment to be given. For instance, progressive shortness of breath with an activity could be a hallmark sign of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia …
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