Describe your clinical experience for this week.
- Did you face any challenges any success? If so, what were they?
- Describe the assessment of a patient, detailing the signs and symptoms (S&S), assessment, plan of care, and at least 3 possible differential diagnosis with rationales.
- Mention the health promotion intervention for this patient.
- What did you learn from this week’s clinical experience that can beneficial for you as an advanced practice nurse?
- Support your plan of care with the current peer-reviewed research guideline.
- Your initial post should be at least 500 words, formatted and cited in current APA style with support from at least 2 academic sources. Your initial post is worth 8 points.
During this week’s clinical experience, I had the opportunity to work with a patient who had complaints of abdominal pain and bloating. This patient was a 45-year-old female who had a history of hypothyroidism and hypertension. The patient reported that she had been experiencing the pain and bloating for about a week and that it was interfering with her daily activities.
One of the main challenges I faced with this patient was trying to assess the cause of her abdominal pain and bloating. I had to conduct a thorough assessment of the patient’s medical history, review her current medications, and perform a physical examination to identify any signs or symptoms that could help in the diagnosis. Additionally, the patient was not very forthcoming about her symptoms, so I had to use my active listening skills to draw out more information from her.
After conducting a physical examination, I noticed that the patient had some tenderness in her lower abdomen, which was consistent with her complaints of pain. She also reported experiencing some nausea and diarrhea, which suggested a gastrointestinal issue. I developed a plan of care that included several diagnostic tests, including blood work, stool culture, and imaging studies.
Based on the patient’s signs and symptoms, there were several possible differential diagnoses that could explain her abdominal pain and bloating. The first possible differential diagnosis was irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is a common condition that causes abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel movements. The second possible differential diagnosis was inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is a chronic condition that causes inflammation of the digestive tract, leading to symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and weight loss. The third possible differential diagnosis was diverticulitis. Diverticulitis occurs when small pockets in the colon become infected, leading to abdominal pain, fever, and changes in bowel movements.
As part of the patient’s plan of care, I also included a health promotion intervention that focused on dietary changes. I recommended that the patient increase her fiber intake, reduce her consumption of fatty and processed foods, and drink plenty of fluids to help alleviate her symptoms.
From this week’s clinical experience, I learned that conducting a thorough assessment is crucial in identifying the cause of a patient’s symptoms. I also learned the importance of active listening and effective communication in eliciting information from patients.
To support my plan of care, I reviewed current peer-reviewed research guidelines. According to the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), the initial evaluation of a patient with abdominal pain should include a comprehensive medical history, a physical examination, and diagnostic testing as appropriate. The AGA also recommends the use of dietary interventions, such as increasing fiber intake, as a first-line treatment for patients with IBS.
In conclusion, this week’s clinical experience provided me with a valuable learning opportunity to apply my knowledge and skills in assessing and managing a patient with abdominal pain and bloating. I encountered challenges in identifying the cause of the patient’s symptoms but was able to develop a plan of care that included diagnostic tests and health promotion interventions based on current research guidelines. I am confident that the skills and knowledge I gained from this experience will be beneficial to me as an advanced practice nurse in the future.