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NU7515 Advanced Physical Assessment (10 ECTS)

Learning Outcomes

Following completion of this module the student should be able to:

  • MLO-01: Demonstrate clinical competencies and advanced psychomotor skills appropriate to the scope of practice for Advanced Nurse Practitioner
  • MLO-02: Demonstrate competence in history taking and physical assessment.
  • MLO-03: Demonstrate competence in advanced techniques of inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation as part of physical assessment
  • MLO-04: Critically analyse presenting history, complaints and clinical findings to develop differential diagnosis and plan of care
  • MLO-05: Differentiate normal physiological alterations from pathological findings
  • MLO-06: Analyse the critical elements related to clinical diagnostic reasoning/ clinical decision making skills.
  • MLO-07: Demonstrate problem solving ability when faced with difficult clinical presentations.
  • MLO-08: Combine elements of prior learning and new learning to support professional development and demonstrate synthesis of information at an advanced practice level.
  • MLO-09: Demonstrate the ability to offer health promotional advice and support to patients and their immediate family/care-givers
  • MLO-10: Document the health assessment data in accordance with legal and ethical guidelines in a clear, accurate, and relevant manner
  • MLO-11: Critically analyse, evaluate and address personal limitations in competence and knowledge when faced with unfamiliar clinical presentations.
  • MLO-12: Demonstrate the ability to share and disseminate knowledge to other healthcare staff.

Module Learning Aims & Rationale

Advanced Nurse Practitioners are autonomous practitioners required to conduct skilled and comprehensive health assessment and demonstrate expert skills in the diagnosis and treatment of a specific patient group. This module is designed to introduce candidate ANPs to advanced skills in assessment and clinical examination techniques and includes the physical, spiritual, and psychosocial assessment of adult clients. History-taking and physical-examination techniques presented in this module help the student develop strong assessment skills upon which further knowledge and practice can be built. Advanced health assessment skills include obtaining appropriate health histories and performing physical examinations on adult patients with complex problems, in a variety of acute and chronic healthcare settings. In addition, the course emphasizes documentation of data obtained and the development of appropriate differential diagnoses and therapeutic plans of care. Students differentiate abnormal from normal findings using advanced assessment techniques, interpret diagnostic study results, and use clinical reasoning to formulate diagnoses for culturally diverse individuals. This module also addresses health promotion and the counselling role of the Advanced Nurse Practitioner.

Methods of Teaching and Student Learning

Lecture, practical/clinical tutorials, supervised clinical exposure, group work, group discussions, one to one teaching, and small group teaching. At the commencement of the course, each student will be assigned a personal preceptor.This preceptor will act as clinical supervisor/teacher and provide educational and personal support to the student. The preceptor will also participate in clinical competency appraisal, feedback and evaluation strategies. Finally, the student is continually supported by the multi-disciplinary team of experts contributing to this programme.

Module Content

  • Interviewing and the health history
  • Physical assessment & clinical examination techniques
  • The physical examination, general survey & vital signs
  • Examination of the skin hair & nails
  • Examination of head and neck
  • Examination of the thorax & lungs
  • Examination of the cardiovascular system
  • Examination of the peripheral vascular system
  • Examination of abdomen, anus, & rectum
  • Examination of genitalia
  • Examination of the musculoskeletal system
  • Examination of the nervous system
  • Clinical reasoning , assessment, planning of care
  • Health promotion and counselling role of the ANP

Recommended Reading List

Core Text Book

  • Doughlas G., Nicol F. & Robertson C. (eds.) (2014) Macleod’s Clinical Examination 13th edn, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, Edinburgh

Other Reading

  • Bickley L.S., Szilagyi P.G. & Hoffman R.M (eds) (2017) Bates’ Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking. 12th edn. Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.
  • Cox C. (ed) (2010) Physical Assessment for Nurses 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Epstein O., Perkin GD., Cookson J., Watt IS., Rakhit R., Robins AW., & Hornett GA (2008) Clinical Examination 4th edn. Mosby Elsevier, Philadelphia.
  • Jevon P. (2009) Clinical Examination Skills. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Japp AG., & Robertson C. (eds.) (2013) Macleod’s Clinical Diagnosis, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, Edinburgh.
  • Turner R., Angus B., Handa A. & Hatton C. (2009) Clinical Skills and Examination: The Core Curriculum 5th edn. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.

*Other readings will be provided by individual lecturers.