Megan Cook


I am a Clinical Teaching Fellow in Nursing working between the University of York and York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals.
I'm a registered nurse with a background in intensive care/critical care.

Location York


  • The greater amounts of melanin in the skin may mask the blanching response making the change invisible to see despite the local changes in blood volume.

    The literature suggests that when assessing a patient who has a darker skin tone to use natural light or a halogen lamp to aid visual inspection of the skin. It also highlights that although cyanosis may...

  • Hi Oyinkan,

    This is a really important question, and I'm glad you've raised it.

    The skin is the largest organ of the human body: skin colour can reflect a patient's overall health. For example, pallor (paleness) may indicate anaemia, cyanosis (blueish tinge) may signal hypoxia (low oxygen levels), and understanding colour changes (redness) in the skin is...

  • Hi Evie,

    Cortisol is one hormone produced by the body. Cortisol is usually associated with stressful situations.

    Adrenaline is another hormone produced by the body: this provides necessary physiological changes to the body to be able to do the 'flight' in 'fight or flight' response.

    Hope that makes sense.


  • Hi Melissa,

    I think you make a very interesting point here stating that not everyone will have the same definition of 'health'.
    Does 'being healthy' simply mean being free of disease/ill health (whether that be physical or mental ill health)?
    You've identified that sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't; it completely depends on the individual and...

  • Hi Morgan,

    It's great that you're practicing taking pulse rates and CRTs on other people. It's definitely a skill to perfect!

    Being able to take a respiratory rate on someone else, without them knowing you're doing so, is also really important. People's respiratory rate can be hugely altered if they know you're counting their respirations.


  • Hi there!

    That's a really interesting question! Checking capillary refill on the fingertip is a measurement of peripheral perfusion, whereas checking capillary refill on the chest (over the sternum - the chest bone) is a measurement of central perfusion.
    So you may have a prolonged CRT on your fingertip (poor perfusion to your peripheries - fingers and...

  • @SunshineOlaedo Hi Sunshine,

    Try watching the video from Gillian again. Note where she places her fingers on her wrist when measuring her pulse rate.

    Your index and middle fingers should lie (don't press too firmly) on the side of your wrist directly below your thumb (this is where your radial artery is). You should feel your artery pulsating; for a...

  • This is a really good insight, Shannon. Think about the impact that might have on someone's overall fitness/physical health levels. This is why it is common for people diagnosed with mental health conditions, to also have physical health diagnoses, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes too.
    Generally speaking, research has shown that those diagnosed...

  • Hi Daisy,

    This is absolutely spot on - a lot of patient assessment is done from 'looking, listening, and feeling'. We can take vital signs on patients, receive numerical values for these things, but we need to take into consideration the patient.
    A key question for nurses to always ask is: what is the context?
    A patient may have a high heart rate - but...

  • Hi Sumaya,

    I'm really glad to hear you're enjoying the course so far!
    I'm also pleased to hear that we have challenged your previous knowledge and assumptions about the role of a nurse; this is something I'm personally very keen on doing!

    Nurses have a lot of responsibility, therefore it is vital for them to understand the evidence available, how to...

  • Hi everyone,

    Thank you for your comments and insights into this video, so far!

    I am the Megan in that video! This was filmed a few years ago whilst I was just finishing off my Masters degree in Nursing at York.
    I went on to work in an intensive care unit, caring for a range of patients including trauma and neurosurgical, from as young as 15 right up to...

  • Hi Katherine,

    I think you're completely right! It's wonderful to see how many positive innovations have come out of the pandemic, such as the video link with GPs as you discussed.

    Think about how this may change people's access to healthcare; those living in remote or very rural areas, even those people who need to see a specialist who is based hundreds...

  • Hi Hannah,

    Great job at practicing taking your own observations.

    Did you mean you measured your respiratory rate (the amount of breaths you take in) for 1 minute? The normal respiratory rate for an adult is somewhere between 12-20 respirations per minute, so this would sound about right with you getting 22 respirations per minute.

    This is quite an...