NURS 6512 Week 9: Assessment of Cognition and the Neurologic System

NURS 6512: Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning | Week 9

A 63-year-old woman comes to your office because she’s been forgetting things…a young mother comes in concerned because her baby fails to make eye contact and is unresponsive to touch…a teenager comes in and a parent complains that the teen obsessively washes his hands.

An array of neurological conditions could be causing the above symptoms. When assessing the neurologic system, it is vital to formulate an accurate diagnosis as early as possible to prevent continued damage and deterioration of a patient’s quality of life.

This week, you will explore methods for assessing the cognition and the neurologic system.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Evaluate abnormal neurological symptoms
  • Apply concepts, theories, and principles relating to health assessment techniques and diagnoses for cognition and the neurologic system

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Imagine not being able to form new memories. This is the reality patients with anterograde amnesia face. Although this form of amnesia is rare, it can result from severe brain trauma. Anterograde amnesia demonstrates just how impactful brain disorders can be to a patient’s quality of living. Accurately assessing neurological symptoms is a complex process that involves the analysis of many factors.

In this Discussion, you will consider case studies that describe abnormal findings in patients seen in a clinical setting.

Note: By Day 1 of this week, your Instructor will have assigned you to one of the following specific case studies for this Discussion. Also, your Discussion post should be in the Episodic/Focused SOAP Note format, rather than the traditional narrative style Discussion posting 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.

Case 1: Headaches

A 20-year-old male complains of experiencing intermittent headaches. The headaches diffuse all over the head, but the greatest intensity and pressure occurs above the eyes and spreads through the nose, cheekbones, and jaw.

Case 2: Numbness and Pain

A 47-year-old obese female complains of pain in her right wrist, with tingling and numbness in the thumb and index and middle fingers for the past 2 weeks. She has been frustrated because the pain causes her to drop her hair-styling tools.

Case 3: Drooping of Face

A 33-year-old female comes to your clinic alarmed about sudden “drooping” on the right side of the face that began this morning. She complains of excessive tearing and drooling on her right side as well.

To prepare:

With regard to the case study you were assigned:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources, and consider the insights they provide about the case study.
  • Consider what history would be necessary to collect from the patient in the case study you were assigned.
  • 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.

Note: Before you submit your initial post, replace the subject line (“Discussion – Week 9”) with “Review of Case Study ___.” Fill in the blank with the number of the case study you were assigned.

By Day 3

Post an episodic/focused note about the patient in the case study to which you were assigned using the episodic/focused note template provided in 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.

Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the “Post to Discussion Question” link and then select “Create Thread” to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and you cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Submit!

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who were assigned different case studies than you. Analyze the possible conditions from your colleagues’ differential diagnoses. Determine which of the conditions you would reject and why. Identify the most likely condition, and justify your reasoning.

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