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For this task you need to write an essay of 1200 words, supported appropriately by recent, scholarly literature. In the essay you need to:
- Define the term health assessment, identifying the importance of health assessment in planning and delivery of holistic care
- Describe briefly the major components of a health assessment;
- Identify and discuss the purpose of a health assessment from a nursing perspective with reference to a framework such as Nursing Process or the Clinical Reasoning Cycle;
- Discuss how a health assessment might be conducted differently in TWO (2 only) of the following situations with:
- a child under 16 years of age in a community setting having a routine health check (i.e., general practice, 'well-baby' clinic or school health clinic);
- an adult admitted to hospital for a minor (day) procedure;
- an elderly person in an aged care facility having their annual health review.
Your response for the final element of the task should include FOUR different aspects of health assessment and should include features of the setting, as well as developmental and/or lifespan factors that may impact.
A nursing assessment is a vital step through which a licenced registered nurse synthesizes information needed for the comprehensive medical diagnosis of the patient. Through the present review, the relevance of this nursing step in prioritizing patient care is advocated. The major components of a nursing assessment process are studied, and their relevance in the delivery of holistic patient care is studied using the Clinical Reasoning Cycle framework. Considered as a central point of the nursing practice, the Clinical reasoning cycle allows nursing professionals to form evaluation goals, and assess outcomes through precise action plan. This framework is further studied through case studies.
Health assessment is a systemic process in the clinical settings, where the nurses use a deliberative interactive process to gain information regarding the physical, mental, social, psychological and cultural aspects affecting patient care (Adib-Hajbaghery and Safa, 2013). Nurses then uses critical thinking to make judgements about the health and wellness status of the patient through co-relating their observations to define a holistic treatment plan (Taylor, 2015). As opposed to a medical health examination, a nursing health assessment view patient as a person and assess them in a comprehensive light. Thus, through such assessment the support system of the patients amongst others is assessed, which helps in making an effective treatment plan and improves patient outcome.
A typical nursing process encompasses elements such as history, and assessment of the entire bodily systems (comprehensive health assessment). Reports and records collection as well as review of any diagnostic test is also completed at this stage. Subsequently the complaint of the patient through a patient assessment is completed using assessment tools such as OLDCART (Onset Location Duration Characteristics Aggravating Factors Relieving Factors Treatment (Townsend, 2015). At this stage, OLDCART provides information regarding the onset of the complaint, symptoms, duration of complaint, characteristics, associated factors, and treatment adopted in past. Comprehensive patient history including medical history, social history, and family history are also completed. As a part of the focused assessment, the neurovascular status, the mental assessment, pain levels, psychosocial assessment comprising of intellectual and emotional health and their cultural assessment is completed (Townsend, 2015).
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