NURS 680B DQ The purpose of an annual physical exam
NURS 680B DQ The purpose of an annual physical exam
Select one of the following case studies to address. In the subject line of your post, please identify which prompt you are responding to, for example, choice #2 19-year old male.
A 62-year old female complains of pain over several finger joints over bilateral hands that is “getting worse” to the point that she is no longer able to work in her garden.
A 38-year old male construction worker complains of severe pain to his right lower back. States he woke up with the pain after an especially difficult work day.
A 58-year old obese man complains of pain in his left knee. The pain seems to be unrelenting, he says it is better when he rests, but gets stiff when he rests too long.
For the case you have chosen, post to the discussion:
Discuss what questions you would ask the patient, what physical exam elements you would include, and what further testing you would want to have performed.
In SOAP format, list:
Pertinent positive and negative information
Differential and working diagnosis
Treatment plan, including: pharmacotherapy with complementary and OTC therapy, diagnostics (labs and testing), health education and lifestyle changes, age-appropriate preventive care, and follow-up to this visit.
Use at least one scholarly source other than your textbook to connect your response to national guidelines and evidence-based research in support of your ideas.
In your peer replies, please reply to at least one peer who chose a different case study.
What is a physical examination?
A physical examination is a routine test your primary care provider (PCP) performs to check your overall health. A PCP may be a doctor, a nurse practitioner, or a physician assistant. The exam is also known as a wellness check. You don’t have to be sick to request an exam.
The physical exam can be a good time to ask your PCP questions about your health or discuss any changes or problems that you have noticed.
There are different tests that can be performed during your physical examination. Depending on your age or medical or family history, your PCP may recommend additional testing.
A physical examination helps your PCP to determine the general status of your health. The exam also gives you a chance to talk to them about any ongoing pain or symptoms that you’re experiencing or any other health concerns that you might have.
A physical examination is recommended at least once a year, especially in people over the age of 50. These exams are used to:
- check for possible diseases so they can be treated early
- identify any issues that may become medical concerns in the future
- update necessary immunizations
- ensure that you are maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine
- build a relationship with your PCP
These exams are also a good way to check cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. These levels may be high without you ever showing any signs or symptoms. Regular screening allows your PCP to treat these conditions before they become severe.
Your PCP may also perform a physical exam before a surgery or before beginning your treatment for a medical condition.
Make your appointment with the PCP of your choice. If you have a family PCP, they can provide you with a physical examination. If you don’t already have a PCP, you can contact your health insurance for a list of providers in your area.
Proper preparation for your physical examination can help you get the most out of your time with your PCP. You should gather the following paperwork before your physical examination:
- list of current medications you take, including over-the-counter drugs and any herbal supplements
- list of any symptoms or pain you are experiencing
- results from any recent or relevant tests
- medical and surgical history
- names and contact information for other doctors you may have seen recently
- if you have an implanted device such as a pacemaker or defibrillator, bring a copy of the front and back of your device card
- any additional questions you would like answered
You may want to dress in comfortable clothing and avoid any excess jewelry, makeup, or other things that would prevent your PCP from fully examining your body.
Before meeting with your PCP, a nurse will ask you a series of questions regarding your medical history, including any allergies, past surgeries, or symptoms you might have. They may also ask about your lifestyle, including if you exercise, smoke, or drink alcohol.
Your PCP will usually begin the exam by inspecting your body for unusual marks or growths. You may sit or stand during this part of the exam.
Next, they may have you lie down and will feel your abdomen and other parts of your body. When doing this, your PCP is inspecting the consistency, location, size, tenderness, and texture of your individual organs.
Your PCP will use a stethoscope — the listening device doctors typically keep around their necks — to listen to various parts of your body. This could include listening to your lungs while you take deep breaths and listening to your intestines.
Your PCP will also use the stethoscope to listen your heart to make sure there are no abnormal sounds. Your PCP can evaluate your heart and valve function and hear your heart’s rhythm during the exam.
Your PCP will also use a technique known as “percussion,” which involves tapping the body like it’s a drum. This technique helps your PCP discover fluid in areas where it shouldn’t be, as well as locate the borders, consistency, and size of organs.
Be sure to communicate with your PCP if you have any concerns throughout the exam. While you can always contact your PCP as needed, your physical examination is your private time set up to ask questions about anything health-related. If you don’t understand any test that your PCP is doing, don’t hesitate to ask questions.