NURS 6512 – Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning

NURS 6512 – Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning

Week 1 discussion

Building a Health History

Effective communication is vital to constructing an accurate and detailed patient history. A patient’s health or illness is influenced by many factors, including age, gender, ethnicity, and environmental setting. As an advanced practice nurse, you must be aware of these factors and tailor your communication techniques accordingly. Doing so will not only help you establish rapport with your patients, but it will also enable you to more effectively gather the information needed to assess your patients’ health risks.

For this Discussion, you will take on the role of a clinician who is building a health history for one of the following new patients:

76-year-old Black/African-American male with disabilities living in an urban setting

Adolescent Hispanic/Latino boy living in a middle-class suburb

55-year-old Asian female living in a high-density poverty housing complex

Pre-school aged white female living in a rural community

16-year-old white pregnant teenager living in an inner-city neighborhood

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To prepare:

With the information presented in Chapter 1 in mind, consider the following:

How would your communication and interview techniques for building a health history differ with each patient?

How might you target your questions for building a health history based on the patient’s age, gender, ethnicity, or environment?

What risk assessment instruments would be appropriate to use with each patient?

What questions would you ask each patient to assess his or her health risks?

Select one patient from the list above on which to focus for this Discussion.

Identify any potential health-related risks based upon the patient’s age, gender, ethnicity, or environmental setting that should be taken into consideration.

Select one of the risk assessment instruments presented in Chapter 1 or Chapter 26 of the course text, or another tool with which you are familiar, related to your selected patient.

Develop at least five targeted questions you would ask your selected patient to assess his or her health risks and begin building a health history.

By Day 3

Post a description of the interview and communication techniques you would use with your selected patient. Explain why you would use these techniques. Identify the risk assessment instrument you selected, and justify why it would be applicable to the selected patient. Provide at least five targeted questions you would ask the patient.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who selected a different patient than you, using one or more of the following approaches:

Share additional interview and communication techniques that could be effective with your colleague’s selected patient.

Suggest additional health-related risks that might be considered.

Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.

Week 2 discussion – NURS 6512 – Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning

DQ1

Assessment Tools and Diagnostic Tests

When seeking to identify a patient’s health condition, advanced practice nurses can use a diverse selection of diagnostic tests and assessment tools; however, different factors affect the validity and reliability of the results produced by these tests or tools. Nurses must be aware of these factors in order to select the most appropriate test or tool and to accurately interpret the results.

In this Discussion, you will consider the validity and reliability of different assessment tools and diagnostic tests. You will explore issues such as sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values.

To prepare:

Review this week’s Learning Resources, and consider the factors that impact the validity and reliability of various assessment tools and diagnostic tests.

Select one of the following assessment tools or diagnostic tests to explore for the purposes of this Discussion:

Mammogram

Physical tests for sore throat (inspecting the throat, palpating the head and neck lymph nodes, listening to breath sounds)

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test

Dix-Hallpike test

Body-mass index (BMI) using waist circumference for adults

Search the Walden Library and credible sources for resources explaining the tool or test you selected. What is its purpose, how is it conducted, and what information does it gather?

Examine the literature and resources you located for information about the validity and reliability of the test or tool you selected. What issues with sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values are related to the test or tool?

Are there any controversies or issues related to any of these tests or tools?

Consider any ethical dilemmas that could arise by using these tests or tools.

By Day 3

Post a description of how the assessment tool or diagnostic test you selected is used in health care. Based on your research, evaluate the test or the tool’s validity and reliability, and explain any issues with sensitivity, reliability, and predictive values. Include references in appropriate APA formatting.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least one of your colleagues who selected a different tool or test than you, using one or more of the following approaches:

Critique your colleague’s evaluation of the validity and reliability of the tool or test selected.

Suggest alternative or additional tools or tests that should be considered when gathering information about specific conditions or symptoms.

DQ2

Diversity and Health Assessments

In May 2012, Alice Randall wrote an article for The New York Times on the cultural factors that encouraged black women to maintain a weight above what is considered healthy. Randall explained—from her observations and her personal experience as a black woman—that many African-American communities and cultures consider women who are overweight to be more beautiful and desirable than women at a healthier weight. As she put it, “Many black women are fat because we want to be” (Randall, 2012).

Randall’s statements sparked a great deal of controversy and debate; however, they emphasize an underlying reality in the health care field: different populations, cultures, and groups have diverse beliefs and practices that impact their health. Nurses and health care professionals should be aware of this reality and adapt their health assessment techniques and recommendations to accommodate diversity.

In this Discussion, you will consider different socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors that should be taken into considerations when building a health history for patients with diverse backgrounds.

Case 1

Subjective Data

CC: “I came for my annual physical exam, but do not want to be a burden to my daughter.”

History of Present Illness (HPI): At-risk 86-year-old Asian male – who is physically and financially dependent on his daughter, a single mother who has little time or money for her father’s health needs.

PMH: hypertension (HTN), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), b12 deficiency and chronic prostatitis

PSH: S/P cholecystectomy

Drug Hx:

Current Meds: Lisinopril 10mg daily, Prilosec 20mg daily, B12 injections monthly, and cipro 100mg daily.

Review of Systems (ROS)

General: + weight loss of 25 lbs over the past year; no recent fatigue, fever or chills.

Head, eyes, ears, nose & throat (HEENT): no changes in vision or hearing, no difficulty chewing or swallowing.

Neck: no pain or injury

Respiratory:

CV:

GI:

GU: no urinary hesitancy or change in urine stream

Integument: multiple bruises on his upper arms and back.

MS/Neuro: + falls x 2 within the last 6 months; no syncopal episodes or dizziness

Psych:

Objective Data

PE: B/P 188/96; Pulse 89; RR 16; Temp 99.0; Ht 5,6; wt 110; BMI 17.8

HEENT: Atraumatic, normocephalic, PERRLA, EOMI, arcus senilus bilaterally, conjunctiva and sclera clear, nares patent, ornasopharynx clear, edentulous.

Lungs: CTA AP&L

Cor: S1S2 without rub or gallop

Abd: benign, normoactive bowel sounds x 4

Ext: no cyanosis, clubbing or edema

Integument: multiple bruises in different stages of healing – on his upper arms and back.

Neuro: No obvious deformities, CN grossly intact II-XII

Case 2

Subjective Data

CC: “I am here for my annual physical exam and have been having vaginal discharge.”

History of Present Illness (HPI): 32-year-old pregnant lesbian – her pregnancy has been without complication thus far. She has been receiving prenatal care from an obstetrician. She received sperm from a local sperm bank.

Drug Hx:

Current Medications: prenatal vitamins and takes Tylenol over the counter for aches and pains on occasion

Family Hx: She a strong family history of diabetes. Gravida 1; Para 0; Abortions 0.

Review of Systems (ROS)

General: no fatigue, fever or chills.

Head, eyes, ears, nose & throat (HEENT):

Neck: no pain or injury

Respiratory:

CV:

GI:

GU:

Integument: multiple piercings, and tattoos. Old scars related to “cutting”.

Neuro: no syncopal episodes or dizziness, no change in memory or thinking patterns; no twitches or abnormal movements

Objective Data

PE: B/P 128/76; Pulse 83; RR 16; Temp 99.0; Ht 5,6; wt 128; BMI 20.98

HEENT: Atraumatic, normocephalic, PERRLA, EOMI, conjunctiva and sclera clear; nares patent, ornasopharynx clear, good dentition. Piercing in her right nostril and lower lip.

Lungs: CTA AP&L

Cor: S1S2 without rub or gallop

Abd: benign, normoactive bowel sounds x 4

GU: external genitalia intact, no lesions or masses. White copious discharge with an amine odor; no cervical motion tenderness; adenxa intact.

Ext: no cyanosis, clubbing or edema

Integument: intact without lesions masses or rashes.

Neuro: No obvious deficits and CN grossly intact II-XII

Case 3

Subjective Data

CC: “Annual physical exam”

History of Present Illness (HPI): 23-year-old Native American male comes in to see you because he has been having anxiety and wants something to help him. He has been smoking “pot” and says he drinks to help him too. He tells you he is afraid that he will not get into Heaven if he continues in this lifestyle.

Drug Hx:

Current medication – denied

Allergies: no allergies to food or medications.

Family history: is very positive for diabetes, hypertension, and alcoholism.

Review of Systems (ROS)

General: no recent weight gains of losses, fatigue, fever or chills.

Head, eyes, ears, nose & throat (HEENT):

Neck:

Respiratory:

CV: no chest discomfort or palpitations

GI:

GU:

Integument: history of eczema – not active

MS/Neuro: no syncopal episodes or dizziness, no change in memory or thinking patterns; no twitches or abnormal movements

Psych:

Objective Data

PE: B/P 158/90; Pulse 88; RR 18; Temp 99.2; Ht 5,7; wt 208; BMI 32.6

General: 23 year old male appears well developed and well nourished. He is anxious – pacing in the room and fidgeting, but in no acute distress.

HEENT: Atraumatic, normocephalic, PERRLA, EOMI, sclera with mild icterus, nares patent, ornasopharynx clear, poor dentition – multiple carries.

Lungs: CTA AP&L

Cor: S1S2, +II/VI holosystolic murmur; without rub or gallop

Abd: benign, normoactive bowel sounds x 4; Hepatomegaly 2cm below the costal margin.

Ext: no cyanosis, clubbing or edema

Integument: intact without lesions masses or rashes.

Neuro: No obvious deficits and CN grossly intact II-XII

To prepare:

Reflect on your experiences as a nurse and on the information provided in this week’s Learning Resources on diversity issues in health assessments.

Select one of the three case studies. Reflect on the provided patient information.

Reflect on the specific socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors related to the health of the patient you selected.

Consider how you would build a health history for the patient. What questions would you ask, and how would you frame them to be sensitive to the patient’s background, lifestyle, and culture? Develop five targeted questions you would ask the patient to build his or her health history and to assess his or her health risks.

Think about the challenges associated with communicating with patients from a variety of specific populations. What strategies can you as a nurse employ to be sensitive to different cultural factors while gathering the pertinent information?

By Day 3

Post an explanation of the specific socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors associated with the patient you selected. Explain the issues that you would need to be sensitive to when interacting with the patient, and why. Provide at least five targeted questions you would ask the patient to build his or her health history and to assess his or her health risks.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond on or before Day 6 to at leastone of your colleagues who selected a different patient than you, using one or more of the following approaches:

Suggest additional socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors related to the patient.

Critique your colleague’s targeted questions, and explain how the patient might interpret these questions. Explain whether any of the questions would apply to your patient, and why.

Week 3 discussion – NURS 6512 – Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning

Health Assessment of Children’s Weight

Body measurements can provide a general picture of whether a child is receiving adequate nutrition or is at risk for health issues. These data, however, are just one aspect to be considered. Lifestyle, family history, and culture—among other factors—are also relevant. That said, gathering and communicating this information can be a delicate process.

For this Discussion, you will consider examples of children with various weight issues. You will explore how you could effectively gather information and encourage parents and caregivers to be proactive about their children’s health and weight.

To prepare:

Consider the following examples of pediatric patients and their families:

Overweight 5-year-old boy with overweight parents

Slightly overweight 10-year-old girl with parents of normal weight

5-year-old girl of normal weight with obese parents

Slightly underweight 8-year-old boy with parents of normal weight

Severely underweight 12-year-old girl with underweight parents

Select one of the examples on which to focus for this Discussion. What health issues and risks may be relevant to the child you selected?

Based on the risks you identified, consider what further information you would need to gain a full understanding of the child’s health. Think about how you could gather this information in a sensitive fashion.

Consider how you could encourage parents or caregivers to be proactive toward the child’s health.

By Day 3

Post an explanation of the health issues and risks that are relevant to the child you selected. Describe additional information you would need in order to further assess his or her weight-related health. Taking into account the parents’ and caregivers’ potential sensitivities, list at least three specific questions you would ask about the child to gather more information. Provide at least two strategies you could employ to encourage the parents or caregivers to be proactive about their child’s health and weight.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on 2 different days who selected a different example than you, using one or more of the following approaches:

Suggest additional health risks or issues that could be relevant to the child.

Critique your colleagues’ questions, and suggest how the parents or caregivers might interpret these questions. Provide alternate or additional questions.

Suggest an additional strategy for gathering patient information or promoting proactivity.

Week 4 discussion NURS 6512 – Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning

Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions

Properly identifying the cause and type of a patient’s skin condition involves a process of elimination known as differential diagnosis. Using this process, a health professional can take a given set of physical abnormalities, vital signs, health assessment findings, and patient descriptions of symptoms, and incrementally narrow them down until one diagnosis is determined as the most likely cause.

In this Discussion, you will examine several visual representations of various skin conditions, describe your observations, and use the techniques of differential diagnosis to determine the most likely condition.

Note: Your Discussion post should be in the SOAP (Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan) note format, rather than the traditional narrative style Discussion posting format. Refer to Chapter 2 of the Sullivan text and the Comprehensive SOAP Template in this week’s Learning Resources for guidance. Remember that not all comprehensive SOAP data are included in every patient case.

To prepare:

Review the Skin Conditions document provided in this week’s Learning Resources, and select two conditions to closely examine for this Discussion.

Consider the abnormal physical characteristics you observe in the graphics you selected. How would you describe the characteristics using clinical terminologies?

Explore different conditions that could be the cause of the skin abnormalities in the graphics you selected.

Consider which of the conditions is most likely to be the correct diagnosis, and why.

By Day 3

Post a description of the two graphics you selected (identify each graphic by number). Use clinical terminologies to explain the physical characteristics featured in each graphic. Formulate a differential diagnosis of three to five possible conditions for each. Determine which is most likely to be the correct diagnosis, and explain your reasoning.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days. Make sure that you respond to colleagues who selected at least one graphic that is different from the ones you selected. For each, address all of the following:

Critique your colleague’s clinical description of the physical characteristics of each.

Suggest an additional possible condition for each graphic, and explain your reasoning.

Provide an alternative correct diagnosis, and explain your reasoning.

Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.

Week 5 discussion – NURS 6512 – Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning

Assessing the Ears, Nose, and Throat

Most ear, nose, and throat conditions that arise in non-critical care settings are minor in nature. However, subtle symptoms can sometimes escalate into life-threatening conditions that require prompt assessment and treatment. Nurses conducting assessments of the ears, nose, and throat must be able to identify the small differences between life-threatening conditions and benign ones. For instance, if a patient with a sore throat and a runny nose also has inflamed lymph nodes, the inflammation is probably due to the pathogen causing the sore throat rather than a case of throat cancer. With this knowledge and a sufficient patient health history, a nurse would not need to escalate the assessment to a biopsy or an MRI of the lymph nodes, but would probably perform a simple strep test.

In this Discussion, you consider case studies of abnormal findings from patients in a clinical setting. You determine what history should be collected from the patients, what physical exams and diagnostic tests should be conducted, and formulate a differential diagnosis with several possible conditions.

Note: By Day 1 of this week, your instructor will have assigned you to one of the following case studies to review for this Discussion. Also, your Discussion post should be in the SOAP Note format, rather than the traditional narrative style Discussion posting format. Refer to Chapter 2 of the Sullivan text and the Comprehensive SOAP Template in the Week 4 Learning Resources for guidance. Remember that not all comprehensive SOAP data are included in every patient case.

Case 1: Nose Focused Exam

Richard is a 50-year-old male with nasal congestion, sneezing, rhinorrhea, and postnasal drainage. Richard has struggled with an itchy nose, eyes, palate, and ears for 5 days. As you check his ears and throat for redness and inflammation, you notice him touch his fingers to the bridge of his nose to press and rub there. He says he’s taken Mucinex OTC the past two nights to help him breathe while he sleeps. When you ask if the Mucinex has helped at all, he sneers slightly and gestures that the improvement is only minimal. Richard is alert and oriented. He has pale, boggy nasal mucosa with clear thin secretions and enlarged nasal turbinates, which obstruct airway flow but his lungs are clear. His tonsils are not enlarged but his throat is mildly erythematous.

Case 2: Focused Throat Exam

Lily is a 20-year-old student at the local community college. When some of her friends and classmates told her about an outbreak of flu-like symptoms sweeping her campus over the past two weeks, Lily figured she shouldn’t take her three-day sore throat lightly. Your clinic has treated a few cases similar to Lily’s. All the patients reported decreased appetite, headaches, and pain with swallowing. As Lily recounts these symptoms to you, you notice that she has a runny nose and a slight hoarseness in her voice but doesn’t sound congested.

Case 3: Focused Ear Exam

Martha brings her 11-year old grandson, James, to your clinic to have his right ear checked. He has complained to her about a mild earache for the past two days. His grandmother believes that he feels warm but did not verify this with a thermometer. James states that the pain was worse while he was falling asleep and that it was harder for him to hear. When you begin basic assessments, you notice that James has a prominent tan. When you ask him how he’s been spending his summer, James responds that he’s been spending a lot of time in the pool.

To prepare:

With regard to the case study you were assigned:

Review this week’s Learning Resources and consider the insights they provide.

Consider what history would be necessary to collect from the patient.

Consider what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate to gather more information about the patient’s condition. How would the results be used to make a diagnosis?

Identify at least 10 possible conditions that may be considered in a differential diagnosis for the patient.

Note: Before you submit your initial post, replace the subject line (“Week 5 Discussion”) with “Review of Case Study ___,” identifying the number of the case study you were assigned.

By Day 3

Post a description of the health history you would need to collect from the patient in the case study to which you were assigned. Explain what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate and how the results would be used to make a diagnosis. List five different possible conditions for the patient’s differential diagnosis and justify why you selected each.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who were assigned different case studies than you. Analyze the possible conditions from your colleagues’ differential diagnoses. Determine which of the conditions you would reject and why. Identify the most likely condition and justify your reasoning.

Week 6 discussion

Assessing the Heart, Lungs, and Peripheral Vascular System

Take a moment to observe your breathing. Notice the sensation of your chest expanding as air flows into your lungs. Feel your chest contract as you exhale. How might this experience be different for someone with chronic lung disease or someone experiencing an asthma attack?

In order to adequately assess the chest region of a patient, nurses need to be aware of a patient’s history, potential abnormal findings, and what physical exams and diagnostic tests should be conducted to determine the causes and severity of abnormalities.

In this Discussion, you will consider how a patient’s initial symptoms can result in very different diagnoses when further assessment is conducted.

Note: By Day 1 of this week, your Instructor will have assigned you to one of the video case studies in this week’s Learning Resources titled Advanced health assessment and diagnostic reasoning. Also, your Discussion post should be in the SOAP Note format, rather than the traditional narrative style Discussion posting format. Refer to Chapter 2 of the Sullivan text and the Comprehensive SOAP Template in the Week 4 Learning Resources for guidance. Remember that not all comprehensive SOAP data are included in every patient case.

To prepare:

With regard to the case study you were assigned:

Review this week’s Learning Resources and consider the insights they provide.

Consider what history would be necessary to collect from the patient.

Consider what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate to gather more information about the patient’s condition. How would the results be used to make a diagnosis?

Identify at least five possible conditions that may be considered in a differential diagnosis for the patient.

Note: Before you submit your initial post, replace the subject line (“Discussion – Week 6”) with “Review of Case Study” identifying the number of the case study you were assigned.

By Day 3

Post a description of the health history you would need to collect from the patient in the case study you were assigned. Explain what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate and how the results would be used to make a diagnosis. List five different possible conditions for the patient’s differential diagnosis, and justify why you selected each.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who were assigned different case studies than you. Analyze the possible conditions from your colleagues’ differential diagnoses. Determine which of the conditions you would reject and why. Identify the most likely condition, and justify your reasoning.

Week 7 discussion – NURS 6512 – Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning

Assessing the Abdomen

A woman went to the emergency room for severe abdominal cramping. She was diagnosed with diverticulitis; however, as a precaution, the doctor ordered a CAT scan. The CAT scan revealed a growth on the pancreas, which turned out to be pancreatic cancer—the real cause of the cramping.

Because of a high potential for misdiagnosis, determining the precise cause of abdominal pain can be time-consuming and challenging. By analyzing case studies of abnormal abdominal findings, nurses can prepare themselves to better diagnose conditions in the abdomen.

In this Discussion, you will consider case studies that describe abnormal findings in patients seen in a clinical setting. You will consider what history should be collected from the patients, as well as which physical exams and diagnostic tests should be conducted. You will also formulate a differential diagnosis with several possible conditions.

Note: By Day 1 of this week, your Instructor will have assigned you to one of the following specific case studies for this Discussion. Also, your Discussion post should be in the SOAP Note format, rather than the traditional narrative style Discussion posting format. Refer to Chapter 2 of the Sullivan text and the Comprehensive SOAP Template in the Week 4 Learning Resources for guidance. Remember that not all comprehensive SOAP data are included in every patient case.

Case 1: Abdominal Pain

A 12-year-old female complains of malaise with abdominal pain pointing to the right lower quadrant. The patient has been vomiting and feeling nauseated for several days. The abdominal pain has been insidious and now is more pronounced. Both parents are with the child and are concerned because she has not been eating and has had a fever for the past 3 evenings.

Case 2: Gastrointestinal Pain

A 50-year-old male complains of burning pain starting at the abdomen and rising to the middle of his chest. He describes the pain as a gnawing feeling that begins after meals, especially when lying down.

Case 3: Nausea and Vomiting

A 20-year-old female complains of nausea and has vomited three times over the past 48 hours. The patient also experienced a low-grade fever this morning. She states that she recently ate shellfish at a new restaurant with two friends who are suffering from similar symptoms.

To prepare:

With regard to the case study you were assigned:

Review this week’s Learning Resources, and consider the insights they provide about the case study.

Consider what history would be necessary to collect from the patient in the case study you were assigned.

Consider what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate to gather more information about the patient’s condition. How would the results be used to make a diagnosis?

Identify at least five possible conditions that may be considered in a differential diagnosis for the patient.

Note: Before you submit your initial post, replace the subject line (“Week 7 Discussion”) with “Review of Case Study ___.” Fill in the blank with the number of the case study you were assigned.

By Day 3

Post a description of the health history you would need to collect from the patient in the case study to which you were assigned. Explain which physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate and how the results would be used to make a diagnosis. List five different possible conditions for the patient’s differential diagnosis, and justify why you selected each.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who were assigned different case studies than you. Analyze the possible conditions from your colleagues’ differential diagnoses. Determine which of the conditions you would reject, and why. Identify the most likely condition, and justify your reasoning.

Week 8 discussion – NURS 6512 – Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning

Assessing Muscoskeletal Pain

The body is constantly sending signals about its health. One of the most easily recognized signals is pain. Musculoskeletal conditions comprise one of the leading causes of severe long-term pain in patients. The musculoskeletal system is an elaborate system of interconnected levers that provide the body with support and mobility. Because of the interconnectedness of the musculoskeletal system, identifying the causes of pain can be challenging. Accurately interpreting the cause of musculoskeletal pain requires an assessment process informed by patient history and physical exams.

In this Discussion, you will consider case studies that describe abnormal findings in patients seen in a clinical setting.

Note: By Day 1 of this week, your Instructor will have assigned you to one of the following specific case studies for this Discussion. Also, your Discussion post should be in the SOAP Note format, rather than the traditional narrative style Discussion posting format. Refer to Chapter 2 of the Sullivan text and the Comprehensive SOAP Template in the Week 4 Learning Resources for guidance. Remember that not all comprehensive SOAP data are included in every patient case.

Case 1: Back Pain

A 42-year-old male reports pain in his lower back for the past month. The pain sometimes radiates to his left leg. In determining the cause of the back pain, based on your knowledge of anatomy, what nerve roots might be involved? How would you test for each of them? What other symptoms need to be explored? What are your differential diagnoses for acute low back pain? Consider the possible origins using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) guidelines as a framework. What physical examination will you perform? What special maneuvers will you perform?

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Note: Please view the Week 8 Discussion area to view the image for Case Study 1.

Case 2: Ankle Pain

A 46-year-old female reports pain in both of her ankles, but she is more concerned about her right ankle. She was playing soccer over the weekend and heard a “pop.” She is able to bear weight, but it is uncomfortable. In determining the cause of the ankle pain, based on your knowledge of anatomy, what foot structures are likely involved? What other symptoms need to be explored? What are your differential diagnoses for ankle pain? What physical examination will you perform? What special maneuvers will you perform? Should you apply the Ottowa ankle rules to determine if you need additional testing?

Note: Please view the Week 8 Discussion area to view the image for Case Study 2.

Case 3: Knee Pain

A 15-year-old male reports dull pain in both knees. Sometimes one or both knees click, and the patient describes a catching sensation under the patella. In determining the causes of the knee pain, what additional history do you need? What categories can you use to differentiate knee pain? What are your specific differential diagnoses for knee pain? What physical examination will you perform? What anatomic structures are you assessing as part of the physical examination? What special maneuvers will you perform?

Note: Please view the Week 8 Discussion area to view the image for Case Study 3.

To prepare:

With regard to the case study you were assigned:

Review this week’s Learning Resources, and consider the insights they provide about the case study.

Consider what history would be necessary to collect from the patient in the case study you were assigned.

Consider what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate to gather more information about the patient’s condition. How would the results be used to make a diagnosis?

Identify at least five possible conditions that may be considered in a differential diagnosis for the patient.

Note: Before you submit your initial post, replace the subject line (“Discussion – Week 8”) with “Review of Case Study ___.” Fill in the blank with the number of the case study you were assigned.

By Day 3

Post a description of the health history you would need to collect from the patient in the case study to which you were assigned. Explain what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate and how the results would be used to make a diagnosis. List five different possible conditions for the patient’s differential diagnosis, and justify why you selected each. Include how the patient X-ray helped you to refine the differential diagnosis.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on 2 different days who were assigned different case studies than you. Analyze the possible conditions from your colleagues’ differential diagnoses. Determine which of the conditions you would reject and why. Identify the most likely condition, and justify your reasoning.

Week 9 discussion – NURS 6512 – Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning

Assessing Neurological Symptoms

Imagine not being able to form new memories. This is the reality patients with anterograde amnesia face. Although this form of amnesia is rare, it can result from severe brain trauma. Anterograde amnesia demonstrates just how impactful brain disorders can be to a patient’s quality of living. Accurately assessing neurological symptoms is a complex process that involves the analysis of many factors.

In this Discussion, you will consider case studies that describe abnormal findings in patients seen in a clinical setting.

Note: By Day 1 of this week, your Instructor will have assigned you to one of the following specific case studies for this Discussion. Also, your Discussion post should be in the SOAP Note format, rather than the traditional narrative style Discussion posting format. Refer to Chapter 2 of the Sullivan text and the Comprehensive SOAP Template in the Week 4 Learning Resources for guidance. Remember that not all comprehensive SOAP data are included in every patient case.

Case 1: Headaches

A 20-year-old male complains of experiencing intermittent headaches. The headaches diffuse all over the head, but the greatest intensity and pressure occurs above the eyes and spreads through the nose, cheekbones, and jaw.

Case 2: Numbness and Pain

A 47-year-old obese female complains of pain in her right wrist, with tingling and numbness in the thumb and index and middle fingers for the past 2 weeks. She has been frustrated because the pain causes her to drop her hair-styling tools.

Case 3: Drooping of Face

A 33-year-old female comes to your clinic alarmed about sudden “drooping” on the right side of the face that began this morning. She complains of excessive tearing and drooling on her right side as well.

To prepare:

With regard to the case study you were assigned:

Review this week’s Learning Resources, and consider the insights they provide about the case study.

Consider what history would be necessary to collect from the patient in the case study you were assigned.

Consider what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate to gather more information about the patient’s condition. How would the results be used to make a diagnosis?

Identify at least five possible conditions that may be considered in a differential diagnosis for the patient.

Note: Before you submit your initial post, replace the subject line (“Discussion – Week 9”) with “Review of Case Study ___.” Fill in the blank with the number of the case study you were assigned.

By Day 3

Post a description of the health history you would need to collect from the patient in the case study to which you were assigned. Explain what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate and how the results would be used to make a diagnosis. List five different possible conditions for the patient’s differential diagnosis, and justify why you selected each.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who were assigned different case studies than you. Analyze the possible conditions from your colleagues’ differential diagnoses. Determine which of the conditions you would reject and why. Identify the most likely condition, and justify your reasoning.

Week 10 discussion

Assessing the Genitalia and Rectum

Patients are frequently uncomfortable discussing with health care professionals issues that involve the genitalia and rectum; however, gathering an adequate history and properly conducting a physical exam are vital. Examining case studies of genital and rectal abnormalities can help prepare advanced practice nurses to accurately assess patients with problems in these areas.

In this Discussion, you will consider case studies that describe abnormal findings in patients seen in a clinical setting.

Note: By Day 1 of this week, your Instructor will have assigned you to one of the following specific case studies for this Discussion. Also, your Discussion post should be in the SOAP Note format, rather than the traditional narrative style Discussion posting format. Refer to Chapter 2 of the Sullivan text and the Comprehensive SOAP Template in the Week 4 Learning Resources for guidance. Remember that not all comprehensive SOAP data are included in every patient case.

Case 1: Rectal Bleeding

A 62-year-old male construction worker reports to your clinic after experiencing rectal bleeding for over 1 month. He has noticed small amounts of blood after every bowel movement. He had a colonoscopy 2 years ago with normal results. The patient has no fever, chills, dysuria, abnormal urinary frequency, or abdominal pain. The patient reports occasional rectal itching and pain. He states he has no noticeable sores on his rectal area and no family history of colorectal cancer.

Case 2: Dysuria

A 55-year-old African-American male reports to your clinic complaining of frequent and painful urination for the past 2 months. The patient is sexually active and has been in a monogamous relationship for the past 3 years. He reports no penile discharge, fever, chills, abdominal pain, or back pain. His father is deceased and passed away of colon cancer. His father had a history of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). The patient considers himself as a healthy male. He works for a large American corporation, has a relatively healthy diet, and exercises 4 to 5 times per week.

Case 3: Genitalia

A 21-year-old college student reports to your clinic with external bumps on her genital area. The bumps are painless and feel rough. The patient is sexually active and has had more than one partner over the past year. Her initial sexual contact occurred at age 18. The patient reports no abnormal vaginal discharge. She is unsure how long the bumps have been there but noticed them about a week ago. Her last Pap smear exam was 3 years ago, and no dysplasia was found; the exam results were normal. She had one sexually transmitted infection (chlamydia) about 2 years ago. She completed the treatment for chlamydia as prescribed.

To prepare:

With regard to the case study you were assigned:

Review this week’s Learning Resources, and consider the insights they provide about the case study.

Consider what history would be necessary to collect from the patient in the case study you were assigned.

Consider what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate to gather more information about the patient’s condition. How would the results be used to make a diagnosis?

Identify at least five possible conditions that may be considered in a differential diagnosis for the patient.

Note: Before you submit your initial post, replace the subject line (“Week 10 Discussion”) with “Review of Case Study ___.” Fill in the blank with the number of the case study you were assigned.

By Day 3

Post a description of the health history you would need to collect from the patient in the case study to which you were assigned. Explain what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate and how the results would be used to make a diagnosis. List five different possible conditions for the patient’s differential diagnosis, and justify why you selected each.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who were assigned different case studies than you. Analyze the possible conditions from your colleagues’ differential diagnoses. Determine which of the conditions you would reject, and why. Identify the most likely condition, and justify your reasoning.

Week 11 discussion – NURS 6512 – Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning

Ethical Concerns

As an advanced practice nurse, you will run into situations where a patient’s wishes about his or her health conflict with evidence, your own experience, or a family’s wishes. This may create an ethical dilemma. What do you do when these situations occur?

In this Discussion, you will explore evidence-based practice guidelines and ethical considerations for specific scenarios.

Scenario 1:

The parents of a 5-year-old boy have accompanied their son for his required physical examination before starting kindergarten. His parents are opposed to him receiving any vaccines.

Scenario 2:

A 49-year-old woman with advanced stage cancer has been admitted to the emergency room with cardiac arrest. Her husband and one of her children accompanied the ambulance.

Scenario 3:

A 27-year-old man with Crohn’s disease has been admitted to the emergency room with an extreme flare-up of his condition. He explains that he has not been able to afford his medications for the last few months and is concerned about the costs he may incur for treatment.

Scenario 4:

A single mother has accompanied her two daughters, aged 15 and 13, to a women’s health clinic and has requested that the girls receive a pelvic examination and be put on birth control. The girls have consented to the exam but seem unsettled.

Scenario 5:

A 17-year-old boy has come in for a check-up after a head injury during a football game. He has indicated that he would like to be able to play in the next game, which is in 3 days.

Scenario 6:

A 12-year-old girl has come in for a routine check-up and has not yet received the HPV vaccine. Her family is very religious and believes that the vaccine would encourage premarital sexual activity.

Scenario 7:

A 57-year-old man who was diagnosed with motor neuron disease 2 years ago is experiencing a rapid decline in his condition. He prefers to be admitted to the in-patient unit at a hospice to receive end-of-life care, but his wife wants him to remain at home.

To prepare:

Select three scenarios, and reflect on the material presented throughout this course.

What necessary information would need to be obtained about the patient through health assessments and diagnostic tests?

Consider how you would respond as an advanced practice nurse. Review evidence-based practice guidelines and ethical considerations applicable to the scenarios you selected.

By Day 3

Post the explanation of the health assessment information required for a diagnosis of your selected patients (include the scenario numbers). Explain how you would respond to the scenario as an advanced practice nurse using evidence-based practice guidelines and applying ethical considerations. Justify your responses.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who selected different scenarios than you, using one or more of the following approaches:

Suggest additional health assessment information that would be necessary to collect from the patient

Critique your colleague’s response, and explain alternative approaches to the situation.

Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research. NURS 6512 – Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning

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