How Do Nurses Chart Urine Color?

Nurses chart urine color by reporting what they observe without making inferences, explains the Chronicle of Nursing. Further, it is important for a nurse to note changes in urine color from previous observations or from the previous documentation of other nurses.

Documentation, or charting, is a way for medical staff to note symptoms, care and response of patients, notes the Chronicle of Nursing. Any symptom, including urine color, is an objective observation of what the caregiver sees. If urine color indicates a potential health problem, the nurse must document any measures taken to mitigate the problem, as well as the patient’s response to the treatment. Documentation occurs during the entire length of a patient’s treatment, and nurses need to note all changes in urine color, and other symptoms, on the chart as well.

Urine color is an excellent indication of hydration level, and it provides a warning sign of potential liver and kidney problems, as well as indicating the presence of toxins in the system, reports Cleveland Clinic. Urine that appears as clear as water might indicate too much water consumption, while dark yellow indicates insufficient water intake. The healthiest urine is pale yellow in color. Amber-colored urine indicates an immediate need for water consumption, while slightly darker brown urine is a sign of serious dehydration or even liver disease. Orange urine is also a sign of dehydration or of a problem with the liver or bile duct. Pink or red sometimes indicates blood in the urine, possibly due to kidney disease or tumors, but can also be harmless discoloration due to consumption of red or purple foods. Blue or green urine also may be due to foods or a sign of bacterial infection. Consistently foamy urine might indicate excess dietary protein.