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.

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.

Case Study 1:   This assignment you will be doing in SOAP format.

Richard is a 50-year-old male with nasal congestion, sneezing, rhinorrhea, and postnasal drainage. Richard has struggled with an itchy nose, eyes, palate, and ears for 5 days. As you check his ears and throat for redness and inflammation, you notice him touch his fingers to the bridge of his nose to press and rub there. He says he’s taken Mucinex OTC the past 2 nights to help him breathe while he sleeps. When you ask if the Mucinex has helped at all, he sneers slightly and gestures that the improvement is only minimal. Richard is alert and oriented. He has pale, boggy nasal mucosa with clear thin secretions and enlarged nasal turbinates, which obstruct airway flow but his lungs are clear. His tonsils are not enlarged but his throat is mildly erythematous

  • Episodic/Focused SOAP Note Exemplar

    Focused SOAP Note for a patient with chest pain

    S. CC: “Chest pain”  HPI: The patient is a 65 year old AA male who developed sudden onset of chest pain, which began early this morning.  The pain is described as “crushing” and is rated nine out of 10 in terms of intensity. The pain is located in the middle of the chest and is accompanied by shortness of breath. The patient reports feeling nauseous. The patient tried an antacid with minimal relief of his symptoms. PMH: Positive history of GERD and hypertension is controlled FH: Mother died at 78 of breast cancer; Father at 75 of CVA.  No history of premature cardiovascular disease in first degree relatives. SH : Negative for tobacco abuse, currently or previously; consumes moderate alcohol; married for 39 years  ROS    General–Negative for fevers, chills, fatigue Cardiovascular–Negative for orthopnea, PND, positive for intermittent lower extremity edema  Gastrointestinal–Positive for nausea without vomiting; negative for diarrhea, abdominal pain Pulmonary–Positive for intermittent dyspnea on exertion, negative for cough or hemoptysis

    O.

    VS: BP 186/102; P 94; R 22; T 97.8; 02 96% Wt 235lbs; Ht 70”

    General–Pt appears diaphoretic and anxious

    Cardiovascular–PMI is in the 5th inter-costal space at the mid clavicular line. A grade 2/6 systolic decrescendo murmur is heard best at the

    second right inter-costal space which radiates to the neck.

    A third heard sound is heard at the apex. No fourth heart sound or rub are heard. No cyanosis, clubbing, noted, positive for bilateral 2+ LE edema is noted.

    Gastrointestinal–The abdomen is symmetrical without distention; bowel

    sounds are normal in quality and intensity in all areas; a

    bruit is heard in the right para-umbilical area. No masses or

    splenomegaly are noted. Positive for mid-epigastric tenderness with deep palpation.

    Pulmonary— Lungs are clear to auscultation and percussion bilaterally

    Diagnostic results: EKG, CXR, CK-MB (support with evidenced and guidelines)

    A.

    Differential Diagnosis:

    1) Myocardial Infarction (provide supportive documentation with evidence based guidelines).

    2) Angina (provide supportive documentation with evidence based guidelines).

    3) Costochondritis (provide supportive documentation with evidence based guidelines).

    Primary Diagnosis/Presumptive Diagnosis: Myocardial Infarction

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

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