Week 6: Assessment of the Abdomen and Gastrointestinal System
On your way home from dinner, you start experiencing sharp pains in your abdomen. You ate seafood—could you have food poisoning? What else might be causing your pain? Appendicitis? Should you head to the emergency room, or should you wait and see how you feel in the morning?
Numerous ailments can affect the GI system and the abdomen. Because the organs are so close, it can be difficult to conduct an accurate assessment. Also, pain in another area of the body can affect the GI system. For example, patients with chronic migraines often report nausea.
This week, you will explore how to assess the abdomen and gastrointestinal system.
- Evaluate abnormal abdomen and gastrointestinal findings
- Apply concepts, theories, and principles relating to health assessment techniques and diagnoses for the abdomen and gastrointestinal system
- Identify concepts, theories, and principles related to advanced health assessment
Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)Required Media (click to expand/reduce)
Assignment 1: Lab Assignment: Assessing the Abdomen
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Hero Images
A woman went to the emergency room for severe abdominal cramping. She was diagnosed with diverticulitis; however, as a precaution, the doctor ordered a CT scan. The CT 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 Lab Assignment, you will analyze an Episodic note case study that describes 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.
Review the Episodic note case study your instructor provides you for this week’s Assignment. Please see the “Course Announcements” section of the classroom for your Episodic note case study.
- With regard to the Episodic note case study provided:
- 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.
- 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.
- Analyze the subjective portion of the note. List additional information that should be included in the documentation.
- Analyze the objective portion of the note. List additional information that should be included in the documentation.
- Is the assessment supported by the subjective and objective information? Why or why not?
- What diagnostic tests would be appropriate for this case, and how would the results be used to make a diagnosis?
- Would you reject/accept the current diagnosis? Why or why not? Identify three possible conditions that may be considered as a differential diagnosis for this patient. Explain your reasoning using at least three different references from current evidence-based literature.
By Day 7 of Week 6
Submit your Lab Assignment.
Submission and Grading Information
To submit your completed Assignment for review and grading, do the following:
- Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK6Assgn1+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
- Click the Week 6 Assignment 1 Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
- Click the Week 6 Assignment 1 link. You will also be able to “View Rubric” for grading criteria from this area.
- Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “WK6Assgn1+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
- If applicable: From the Plagiarism Tools area, click the checkbox for I agree to submit my paper(s) to the Global Reference Database.
- Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.
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Week 6 Assignment 1 Rubric
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