CASE STUDY 3: Focused Ear Exam 

Martha brings her 11-year old grandson, James, to your clinic to have his right ear checked. He has complained to her about a mild earache for the past 2 days. His grandmother believes that he feels warm but did not verify this with a thermometer. James states that the pain was worse while he was falling asleep and that it was harder for him to hear. When you begin basic assessments, you notice that James has a prominent tan. When you ask him how he’s been spending his summer, James responds that he’s been spending a lot of time in the pool.

Assignment 1: Case Study Assignment: Assessing the Head, Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Throat

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Most ear, nose, and throat conditions that arise in non-critical care settings are minor in nature. However, subtle symptoms can sometimes escalate into life-threatening conditions that require prompt assessment and treatment.

Nurses conducting assessments of the ears, nose, and throat must be able to identify the small differences between life-threatening conditions and benign ones. For instance, if a patient with a sore throat and a runny nose also has inflamed lymph nodes, the inflammation is probably due to the pathogen causing the sore throat rather than a case of throat cancer. With this knowledge and a sufficient patient health history, a nurse would not need to escalate the assessment to a biopsy or an MRI of the lymph nodes but would probably perform a simple strep test.

In this Case Study Assignment, you consider case studies of abnormal findings from patients in a clinical setting. You determine what history should be collected from the patients, what physical exams and diagnostic tests should be conducted, and formulate a differential diagnosis with several possible conditions.

To Prepare
  • By Day 1 of this week, you will be assigned to a specific case study for this Case Study Assignment. Please see the “Course Announcements” section of the classroom for your assignment from your Instructor.
  • Also, your Case Study Assignment should be in the Episodic/Focused SOAP Note format rather than the traditional narrative style 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.

With regard to the case study you were assigned:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources and consider the insights they provide.
  • Consider what history would be necessary to collect from the patient.
  • 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.
The Assignment

Use the Episodic/Focused SOAP Template and create an episodic/focused note about the patient in the case study to which you were assigned using the episodic/focused note template provided in the 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.

 

Rubric

ExcellentGoodFairPoorUsing the Episodic/Focused SOAP Template:
· Create documentation or an episodic/focused note in SOAP format about the patient in the case study to which you were assigned.

·  Provide evidence from the literature to support diagnostic tests that would be appropriate for your case.45 (45%) – 50 (50%)The response clearly, accurately, and thoroughly follows the SOAP format to document the patient in the assigned case study. The response thoroughly and accurately provides detailed evidence from the literature to support diagnostic tests that would be appropriate for the patient in the assigned case study.39 (39%) – 44 (44%)The response accurately follows the SOAP format to document the patient in the assigned case study. The response accurately provides detailed evidence from the literature to support diagnostic tests that would be appropriate for the patient in the assigned case study.33 (33%) – 38 (38%)The response follows the SOAP format to document the patient in the assigned case study, with some vagueness and inaccuracy. The response provides evidence from the literature to support diagnostic tests that would be appropriate for the patient in the assigned case study, with some vagueness or inaccuracy in the evidence selected.0 (0%) – 32 (32%)The response incompletely and inaccurately follows the SOAP format to document the patient in the assigned case study. The response provides incomplete, inaccurate, and/or missing evidence from the literature to support diagnostic tests that would be appropriate for the patient in the assigned case study.·   List five different possible conditions for the patient’s differential diagnosis, and justify why you selected each.30 (30%) – 35 (35%)The response lists five distinctly different and detailed possible conditions for a differential diagnosis of the patient in the assigned case study, and provides a thorough, accurate, and detailed justification for each of the five conditions selected.24 (24%) – 29 (29%)The response lists four or five different possible conditions for a differential diagnosis of the patient in the assigned case study and provides an accurate justification for each of the five conditions selected.18 (18%) – 23 (23%)The response lists three to five possible conditions for a differential diagnosis of the patient in the assigned case study, with some vagueness and/or inaccuracy in the conditions and/or justification for each.0 (0%) – 17 (17%)The response lists two or fewer, or is missing, possible conditions for a differential diagnosis of the patient in the assigned case study, with inaccurate or missing justification for each condition selected.Written Expression and Formatting – Paragraph Development and Organization:
Paragraphs make clear points that support well-developed ideas, flow logically, and demonstrate continuity of ideas. Sentences are carefully focused–neither long and rambling nor short and lacking substance. A clear and comprehensive purpose statement and introduction are provided that delineate all required criteria.5 (5%) – 5 (5%)Paragraphs and sentences follow writing standards for flow, continuity, and clarity. A clear and comprehensive purpose statement, introduction, and conclusion are provided that delineate all required criteria.4 (4%) – 4 (4%)Paragraphs and sentences follow writing standards for flow, continuity, and clarity 80% of the time. Purpose, introduction, and conclusion of the assignment are stated, yet are brief and not descriptive.3 (3%) – 3 (3%)Paragraphs and sentences follow writing standards for flow, continuity, and clarity 60%–79% of the time. Purpose, introduction, and conclusion of the assignment are vague or off topic.0 (0%) – 2 (2%)Paragraphs and sentences follow writing standards for flow, continuity, and clarity < 60% of the time. No purpose statement, introduction, or conclusion were provided.Written Expression and Formatting – English writing standards:
Correct grammar, mechanics, and proper punctuation5 (5%) – 5 (5%)Uses correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation with no errors.4 (4%) – 4 (4%)Contains a few (1 or 2) grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.3 (3%) – 3 (3%)Contains several (3 or 4) grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.0 (0%) – 2 (2%)Contains many (≥ 5) grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors that interfere with the reader’s understanding.Written Expression and Formatting – The paper follows correct APA format for title page, headings, font, spacing, margins, indentations, page numbers, running heads, parenthetical/in-text citations, and reference list.5 (5%) – 5 (5%)Uses correct APA format with no errors.4 (4%) – 4 (4%)Contains a few (1 or 2) APA format errors.3 (3%) – 3 (3%)Contains several (3 or 4) APA format errors.0 (0%) – 2 (2%)Contains many (≥ 5) APA format errors.Total Points: 100ReplyForward
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Episodic/Focused SOAP Note Template

 

Patient Information:

Initials, Age, Sex, Race

S.

CC (chief complaint) a BRIEF statement identifying why the patient is here – in the patient’s own words – for instance “headache”, NOT “bad headache for 3 days”.

HPI: This is the symptom analysis section of your note. Thorough documentation in this section is essential for patient care, coding, and billing analysis. Paint a picture of what is wrong with the patient. Use LOCATES Mnemonic to complete your HPI. You need to start EVERY HPI with age, race, and gender (e.g., 34-year-old AA male). You must include the seven attributes of each principal symptom in paragraph form not a list. If the CC was “headache”, the LOCATES for the HPI might look like the following example:

Location: head

Onset: 3 days ago

Character: pounding, pressure around the eyes and temples

Associated signs and symptoms: nausea, vomiting, photophobia, phonophobia

Timing: after being on the computer all day at work

Exacerbating/ relieving factors: light bothers eyes, Aleve makes it tolerable but not completely better

Severity: 7/10 pain scale

Current Medications: include dosage, frequency, length of time used and reason for use; also include OTC or homeopathic products.

Allergies: include medication, food, and environmental allergies separately (a description of what the allergy is ie angioedema, anaphylaxis, etc. This will help determine a true reaction vs intolerance).

PMHx: include immunization status (note date of last tetanus for all adults), past major illnesses and surgeries. Depending on the CC, more info is sometimes needed Soc Hx: include occupation and major hobbies, family status, tobacco & alcohol use (previous and current use), any other pertinent data. Always add some health promo question here – such as whether they use seat belts all the time or whether they have working smoke detectors in the house, living environment, text/cell phone use while driving, and support system.

Fam Hx: illnesses with possible genetic predisposition, contagious or chronic illnesses. Reason for death of any deceased first degree relatives should be included. Include parents, grandparents, siblings, and children. Include grandchildren if pertinent.

ROS: cover all body systems that may help you include or rule out a differential diagnosis You should list each system as follows: General: Head: EENT: etc. You should list these in bullet format and document the systems in order from head to toe.

Example of Complete ROS:

GENERAL:  No weight loss, fever, chills, weakness or fatigue.

HEENT:  Eyes:  No visual loss, blurred vision, double vision or yellow sclerae. Ears, Nose, Throat:  No hearing loss, sneezing, congestion, runny nose or sore throat.

SKIN:  No rash or itching.

CARDIOVASCULAR:  No chest pain, chest pressure or chest discomfort. No palpitations or edema.

RESPIRATORY:  No shortness of breath, cough or sputum.

GASTROINTESTINAL:  No anorexia, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. No abdominal pain or blood.

GENITOURINARY:  Burning on urination. Pregnancy. Last menstrual period, MM/DD/YYYY.

NEUROLOGICAL:  No headache, dizziness, syncope, paralysis, ataxia, numbness or tingling in the extremities. No change in bowel or bladder control.

MUSCULOSKELETAL:  No muscle, back pain, joint pain or stiffness.

HEMATOLOGIC:  No anemia, bleeding or bruising.

LYMPHATICS:  No enlarged nodes. No history of splenectomy.

PSYCHIATRIC:  No history of depression or anxiety.

ENDOCRINOLOGIC:  No reports of sweating, cold or heat intolerance. No polyuria or polydipsia.

ALLERGIES:  No history of asthma, hives, eczema or rhinitis.

O.

Physical exam: From head-to-toe, include what you see, hear, and feel when doing your physical exam. You only need to examine the systems that are pertinent to the CC, HPI, and History. Do not use “WNL” or “normal.” You must describe what you see. Always document in head to toe format i.e. General: Head: EENT: etc.

Diagnostic results: Include any labs, x-rays, or other diagnostics that are needed to develop the differential diagnoses (support with evidenced and guidelines)

A.

Differential Diagnoses (list a minimum of 3 differential diagnoses).Your primary or presumptive diagnosis should be at the top of the list. For each diagnosis, provide supportive documentation with evidence based guidelines.

P.

This section is not required for the assignments in this course (NURS 6512) but will be required for future courses.

References

You are required to include at least three evidence based peer-reviewed journal articles or evidenced based guidelines which relates to this case to support your diagnostics and differentials diagnoses. Be sure to use correct APA 6th edition formatting.

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