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 cancerthe 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 Episodic/Focused SOAP Note format, rather than the traditional narrative style Discussion posting format. Refer to Chapter 2 of the Sullivan text and the Episodic/Focused SOAP Template in the Week 5 Learning Resources for guidance. Remember that all Episodic/Focused SOAP notes have specific data 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.
With regard to the case study you were assigned:
Review this weeks 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 patients 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.
Post an episodic/focused note about the patient in the case study to which you were assigned using the episodic/focused note template provided in week 5 resources. Provide evidence from the literature to support diagnostic tests that would be appropriate for each case. List five different possible conditions for the patient’s differential diagnosis and justify why you selected each.
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