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NURS 6531 Week 3: Head-Eyes-Ears-Nose and Throat Disorders

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NURS 6531 Week 3: Head-Eyes-Ears-Nose and Throat Disorders essay assignment

NURS 6531: Primary Care of Adults Across the Lifespan | Week 3 essay assignment

As introduced last week, the physical examination of a patient is usually initiated by the observation of external characteristics. Not surprisingly, abnormal or disease manifestations may cause changes to the head, eyes, ears, nose, or throat (HEENT). Understanding the manifestations which may occur when examining the HEENT system is critical for the advanced practice nurse.

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This week, we will discuss the examination of the head, eyes, ears, nose and throat, analyze the differential diagnoses, the role of the patient information, and potential treatment options for patients with any disorder affecting this system.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this week, students will:
  • Assess differential diagnoses for patients with HEENT disorders
  • Analyze the role of patient information in differential diagnosis for HEENT
  • Evaluate patient treatment options for HEENT
  • Understand and apply key terms, concepts, and principles related to head, eyes, ears, nose and throat disorders
  • Analyze pattern recognition in patient diagnoses

In clinical settings, advanced practice nurses may initiate a physical examination of a patient by examining the components of the HEENT system. Assessing primary diagnoses and differential diagnoses as they concern the HEENT system are important in informing your practice in providing optimal care.

For this Discussion, consider the following three case studies of patients presenting with head, eyes, ears, nose, and throat disorders.

Case Study 1

An 86-year-old widowed female is brought to the office by her daughter-in-law. The patient complains of constant tearing and an itchy, burning sensation in both eyes. The patient states this is not a new problem, but it has worsened in the past week and is affecting her vision. The patient complains that her eyes are dry. She thinks the problem must be caused by one of her medications. Her patient medical history is positive for hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and heart failure. She has an allergy to erythromycin that causes rash and elevated liver enzymes. Medications currently prescribed include Furosemide 40 milligrams po twice a day, diltiazem 240 milligrams po daily, lisinopril 20 milligrams po daily, and warfarin 3 milligrams po daily. The physical examination reveals a frail older female with some facial dryness and slight scaling. Her visual acuity is 20/60 OU, 20/40 OD, 20/60 OS. The eyelids are erythematous and edematous with yellow crusting around the lashes. Sclera are injected, conjunctiva are pale, and pupils are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.

Case Study 2

A middle-aged male presents to the office complaining of a two-day history of a left earache. The onset was gradual, but has steadily been increasing. It has been constantly aching since last night, and his hearing seems diminished to him. Today he thinks the left side of his face may even be swollen. He denies upper respiratory infection, known fever, or chills. His patient medical history is positive for Type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. The patient has a known allergy to Amoxicillin that results in pruritus. Medications currently prescribed include Metformin 1,000 milligrams po twice a day, lisinopril 20 milligrams po daily, Aspirin 81 milligrams po daily, and simvastatin 40 milligrams po daily. The physical exam reveals a middle aged male at a weight of 160 pounds, height of 5’8”, temperature of 98.8 degrees Fahrenheit, heart rate of 88, respiratory rate of 18, and blood pressure of 138/76. Further examination reveals the following:

  • Face: Faint asymmetry with left periauricular area slightly edematous
  • Eyes: sclera clear, conj wnl
  • L ear: + tenderness L pinna, + edema, erythema, exudates left external auditory canal, TM not visible
  • R ear: no tenderness, R external auditory canal clear without edema, erythema, exudates
  • + tenderness L preauricular node, otherwise no lymphadenopathy
  • Cardiac: S1 S2 regular. No S3 S4 or murmur.
  • Lungs: CTA w/o rales, wheezes, or rhonchi.

Case Study 3

A middle-aged female presents to the office complaining of strep throat. She states she suddenly developed a sore throat yesterday afternoon, and it has gotten worse since then. During the night she felt like she was chilled and feverish. She denies known recent contact with anyone else who had strep throat, but states she has had strep before and it feels like she has strep now. She takes no medications, but is allergic to penicillin. The physical examination reveals a slender female lying on the examination table. She has a temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit, heart rate of 112, respiratory rate of 22, and blood pressure of 96/64. The head, eyes, ears, nose, and throat evaluation is positive for bilateral tonsillar swelling without exudates. Her neck is supple with bilateral, tender, enlarged anterior cervical nodes.

To prepare:

  • Review the case studies provided in this week’s Resources.
  • You will either select or be assigned one of the three case studies provided.
  • Reflect on the provided patient information including history and physical exams.
  • Think about a differential diagnosis. Consider the role the patient history and physical exam played in your diagnosis.
  • Reflect on potential treatment options based on your diagnosis.

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!

By Day 3

Post an explanation of the primary diagnosis, as well as 3 differential diagnoses, for the patient in the case study you selected. Describe the role of the patient history and physical exam played in the diagnosis. Then, suggest potential treatment options based on your patient diagnosis.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who selected a different case study than you did. Respond to questions posed to you during the week.

 

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