Health Assessment

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.

The Discussion post should be in the SOAP Note format, rather than the traditional narrative style Discussion posting format.  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.

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.

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.

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