NURS 6512 Assessment of the Abdomen and Gastrointestinal System

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NURS 6512 Assessment of the Abdomen and Gastrointestinal System

NURS 6512 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.
Learning Objectives
Students will:

 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

Learning Resources

Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)
Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W.
(2019). Seidel's guide to physical examination: An interprofessional
approach (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

 Chapter 6, “Vital Signs and Pain Assessment”
This chapter describes the experience of pain and its causes. The authors
also describe the process of pain assessment.

 Chapter 18, “Abdomen”
In this chapter, the authors summarize the anatomy and physiology of the
abdomen. The authors also explain how to conduct an assessment of the
abdomen.
Dains, J. E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. (2019). Advanced health
assessment and clinical diagnosis in primary care (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO:
Elsevier Mosby.
Credit Line: Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Diagnosis in Primary Care, 6th Edition by Dains, J.E., Baumann, L. C., &
Scheibel, P. Copyright 2019 by Mosby. Reprinted by permission of Mosby via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Chapter 3, “Abdominal Pain”
This chapter outlines how to collect a focused history on abdominal pain.
This is followed by what to look for in a physical examination in order to
make an accurate diagnosis.
Chapter 10, “Constipation”
The focus of this chapter is on identifying the causes of constipation
through taking a focused history, conducting physical examinations, and
performing laboratory tests.
Chapter 12, “Diarrhea”
In this chapter, the authors focus on diagnosing the cause of diarrhea. The
chapter includes questions to ask patients about the condition, things to
look for in a physical exam, and suggested laboratory or diagnostic
studies to perform.
Chapter 29, “Rectal Pain, Itching, and Bleeding”
This chapter focuses on how to diagnose rectal bleeding and pain. It
includes a table containing possible diagnoses, the accompanying
physical signs, and suggested diagnostic studies.

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Colyar, M. R. (2015). Advanced practice nursing procedures. Philadelphia,
PA: F. A. Davis.
Credit Line: Advanced practice nursing procedures, 1st Edition by Colyar, M. R. Copyright 2015 by F. A. Davis Company.
Reprinted by permission of F. A. Davis Company via the Copyright Clearance Center.

These sections below explain the procedural knowledge needed to
perform gastrointestinal procedures.
Chapter 107, “X-Ray Interpretation: Chest (pp. 480–487)
Chapter 115, “X-Ray Interpretation of Abdomen” (pp. 514–520)
Note: Download this Student Checklist and Abdomen Key Points to use
during your practice abdominal examination.
Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W.
(2019). Abdomen: Student checklist. In Seidel's guide to physical
examination: An interprofessional approach (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO:
Elsevier Mosby.
Credit Line: Seidel's Guide to Physical Examination, 9th Edition by Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., &
Stewart, R. W. Copyright 2019 by Elsevier Health Sciences. Reprinted by permission of Elsevier Health Sciences via the
Copyright Clearance Center.

Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W.
(2019). Abdomen: Key points. In Seidel's guide to physical examination:
An interprofessional approach (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
Credit Line: Seidel's Guide to Physical Examination, 9th Edition by Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., &
Stewart, R. W. Copyright 2019 by Elsevier Health Sciences. Reprinted by permission of Elsevier Health Sciences via the
Copyright Clearance Center.
Document: Midterm Exam Review (Word document)
Optional Resource
LeBlond, R. F., Brown, D. D., & DeGowin, R. L. (2014). DeGowin’s
diagnostic examination (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill Medical.

 Chapter 9, “The Abdomen, Perineum, Anus, and Rectosigmoid” (pp.
445–527)
This chapter explores the health assessment processes for the abdomen,
perineum, anus, and rectosigmoid. This chapter also examines the
symptoms of many conditions in these areas.
 Chapter 10, “The Urinary System” (pp. 528–540)
In this chapter, the authors provide an overview of the physiology of the
urinary system. The chapter also lists symptoms and conditions of the
urinary system.
Required Media (click to expand/reduce)
Online media for Seidel's Guide to Physical Examination
It is highly recommended that you access and view the resources included with
the course text, Seidel's Guide to Physical Examination. Focus on the videos and
animations in Chapter 17 that relate to the assessment of the abdomen and
gastrointestinal system. Refer to Week 4 for access instructions
on https://evolve.elsevier.com/

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