“I feel dizzy” is a common complaint in the ER and triage nurses sometimes use the shorthand, IFD, when describing the patient’s complaint. Finding a diagnosis for this vague symptom can be challenging. One thing the nurse can do to speed up the process is to drill down to a more firm description than dizziness.

Dizziness is a complaint that can include four separate symptoms, sometimes overlapping. A careful history will reveal one or more of these: vertigo, disequilibrium, presyncope, or lightheadedness.

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