NSG-316: Health assessment is a course that teaches students how to use the nursing process to systematically collect, validate, and communicate the physiological, psychological, sociocultural, spiritual, lifestyle, and functional assessment data for diverse adult clients. Moreover, an nsg-316: health assessment supervised laboratory practice enables students to demonstrate client-centered interviewing skills and obtaining a health history, along with hands-on assessment techniques.
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What is a health assessment?
Health assessment is a plan of care that recognizes the specific needs of a person and how those needs will be addressed by the healthcare system or skilled nursing facility. In other words, it is the evaluation of the health status by performing a physical exam after taking a health history. The main purpose of performing a health assessment is to establish where on the health continuum an individual is because it guides how to approach and treat the individual. Most importantly, health assessments detect diseases early in people that may look and feel well.
A comprehensive health assessment should give the nurses insight into a patient’s physical status through observation, the measurement of vital signs, and self-reported symptoms. Moreover, a nurse can use a health assessment to obtain baseline data about patients and to build rapport with them thus decreasing anxiety and leading to a trusting relationship.
Types of health assessments.
Brief health assessment
This is a simple health assessment that is typically concluded in half an hour or less.
Standard health assessment
The standard assessment is a 45-minute session, and it is employed when you need more than a brief assessment, but you do not have any complex health issues that warrant a longer assessment.
Long health assessment
If you present with complex health issues, your healthcare practitioner will order a long health assessment. This assessment usually takes an hour.
Prolonged health assessment
This is a complicated assessment that is completed when you need a preventative healthcare plan. It frequently exceeds 60 minutes in duration. Your healthcare provider will counsel you on how long to set aside for this consultation, based on the tests you need.
Techniques used by nurses to perform assessment:
This is the most commonly used method for assessment. Nurses look for indications of a health problem by using their eyes, ears, and nose. They may inspect skin color, lesions, bruises, or rashes as well as pay attention to abnormal sounds and odors.
Nurses listen to the sounds of the abdomen by placing the diaphragm or bell of a stethoscope on the bare skin of a patient.
To perform this method of assessment, nurses apply varying degrees of pressure on the patient with different parts of their hands. Therefore, palpation allows nurses to assess for texture, tenderness, temperature, moisture, pulsations, and the presence of masses.
Nurses firmly press on sections of a patient’s body with the distal part of the middle finger on their non-dominant hand. The technique checks a patient’s level of discomforts on suspected areas of tenderness.
Steps of performing a comprehensive health assessment.
A comprehensive assessment begins with documenting a patient’s history before starting a physical exam. A patient’s health history includes:
- The patient’s medical complaint.
- The present state of health
- Past health record.
- Current lifestyle.
- Psychosocial status.
- Family history.
A patient’s health history is very crucial since it provides nurses with in-depth information about symptoms, childhood illnesses, related medical experiences, and risks of developing certain illnesses.
Once the nurse records health history data, he/she then conducts a physical examination on various body systems. This examination may include the following parts:
- Neurological function.
- Ears, eyes, nose, and throat.
- Respiratory function.
- Muscles and joints.
- Reproductive system.
What are the most common health assessment questions asked by a nurse?
Some of the commonly asked questions by nurses are:
- Tobacco use.
- Physical activity.
- Sexual practices.
- Sedentary behaviors like playing video games.
- Alcohol usage.
- Depression and anxiety.
- Emotional and social support.
- Overall health and well-being.