Any unusual findings should be followed up with a focused assessment specific to the affected body system. Checklist 17 outlines the steps to take. Unilateral edema may indicate a local or peripheral cause, whereas bilateral-pitting edema usually indicates cardiac or kidney failure.
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Evaluation of older adults usually differs from a standard medical evaluation. For older patients, especially those who are very old or frail, history-taking and physical examination may have to be done at different times, and physical examination may require 2 sessions because patients become fatigued. Older adults also have different, often more complicated health care problems, such as multiple disorders, which may require use of many drugs sometimes called polypharmacy and thus greater likelihood of a high-risk drug being prescribed see table Potentially Inappropriate Drugs in Older Adults.
Family physicians should be proficient in geriatric assessment because, as society ages, older adults will constitute an increasing proportion of patients. Geriatric assessment evaluates medical, social, and environmental factors that influence overall well-being, and addresses functional status, fall risk, medication review, nutrition, vision, hearing, cognition, mood, and toileting. The Medicare Annual Wellness Visit includes the key elements of geriatric assessment performed by family physicians.
Nursing assessment is the gathering of information about a patient 's physiologicalpsychologicalsociologicaland spiritual status by a licensed Registered Nurse. Nursing assessment is the first step in the nursing process. A section of the nursing assessment may be delegated to certified nurses aides.
Many people who visit the doctor or healthcare provider's office wonder: "What are they doing? What are they looking for? Some of the clues are based on the spoken information that you provide, or they may be based on physical examination findings.
In this section of the NCLEX-RN examination, you will be expected to demonstrate your knowledge and skills of techniques of physical assessment in order to:. Baseline data that is collected after the health history and before the complete head to toe examination includes a general survey of the client. The general survey includes the patient's weight, height, body build, posture, gait, obvious signs of distress, level of hygiene and grooming, skin integrity, vital signs, oxygen saturation, and the patient's actual age compared and contrasted to the age that the patient actually appears like. For example, does the patient appear to be older than their actual age?
To ensure optimal health outcomes for older adults, nurses in all settings should be familiar with geriatric health problems and demonstrate proficiency in providing care. Assessing the health needs of elderly patients can reduce their hospitalization rate and enhance their quality of life and independence. Information you obtain from an accurate assessment serves as the foundation for age-appropriate nursing care.