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observations (ob-ser-vay-shŏns) pl. n. (in nursing) the frequent and systematic collection of data relevant to a patient's condition. As well as monitoring the patient's vital signs (pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate, temperature, etc.), observations may include careful attention to (and noting of) the patient's interactions, verbal and nonverbal behaviour, and reactions to the physical surroundings. The data are analysed to determine the level of care the patient requires and must be clearly documented to prevent ambiguous interpretation.