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NU7516 Health Physical Assessment (10 ECTS)

Learning Outcomes

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

  • MLO-01 Demonstrate competence in history taking and consultation skills.
  • MLO-02 Demonstrate competence in advanced techniques of inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation as part of physical assessment
  • MLO-03 Demonstrate a comprehensive health assessment of the patient/client’s physical, psychological and social needs
  • MLO-04 Differentiate normal physiological alterations from pathological findings
  • MLO-05 Collect and accurately record the patients/clients current health status and document effectively

Methods of Teaching and Student Learning:

Lecture, practical/clinical tutorials, group work, group discussions, one to one teaching, and small group teaching, online activities, and supervised clinical experience. 

Module Learning Aims & Rationale

This module is designed to enable the student to advance skills in assessment and clinical examination techniques and includes the physical and psychosocial assessment of patients. Health assessment skills include obtaining appropriate health histories and performing physical examinations on patients with complex problems, in a variety of healthcare settings. In addition, the course emphasises documentation of data obtained. The module enables students to develop skills of clinical reasoning so they differentiate abnormal from normal findings using physical assessment techniques.  This module also addresses health promotion and the counselling role of the nurse and midwife prescriber.

Module Content

  • Interviewing and the health history
  • Consultation, physical assessment and clinical examination techniques
  • The physical examination (head to toe), general survey and vital signs
  • Examination of the skin, hair and nails
  • Examination of head and neck
  • Examination of the thorax and lungs
  • Examination of the cardiovascular system
  • Examination of the peripheral vascular system
  • Examination of abdomen, anus, and rectum
  • Examination of genitalia
  • Examination of the musculoskeletal system
  • Examination of the nervous system
  • Examination of the endocrine system
  • Mental Health Assessment
  • Requesting and interpretation of laboratory tests
  • Clinical reasoning , assessment, planning of care
  • Health promotion and counselling role of the nurse and midwife prescriber 

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.