NURN 320 Health Assessment

This course focuses on the application of critical thinking and reasoning in the assessment of individual health status. You will learn a systematic holistic approach to health history and physical examination for differentiating normal from abnormal states, which will include physical, developmental, psychosocial, cultural, and spiritual dimensions.

Coursework Highlights

Coursework is designed for engagement and collaboration. Here are examples of some of the assignments you will complete as part of NU 320 Health Assessment:

  • Assess histories and symptoms of two patients within a clinical setting and discuss what should be considered when gathering patient data and administering care.
  • Record a video of a full assessment of a lab partner, including patient history and physical examination, using tools one would find in an examination room.
  • Gather data from a case study while examining the patient’s history and interview to determine what can be derived from the data, what stands out, what the patient is at risk for, and the necessary diagnosis.

Weekly Themes

Each week of this course focuses on a different theme. Your group discussions and coursework will align with the week’s theme as well as its primary objectives.

Week 1 – Interview, Health History, Culture, Assessment Techniques, and General Survey

In week one, you’ll learn to:

  • Explain interview methods that facilitate the collection of information for a health history, cultural assessment, review of systems to facilitate privacy, human dignity, and effective communication.
  • Define the role culture plays in the perception and expression of illness.
  • Define the role genetics has in health assessment and the effect on the development and function on various systems.

Week 2 – Head and Neck Lymphatics

During week two, you’ll learn to:

  • Obtain history and assessment from a client specific to problems of the head, neck, and lymph nodes while recognizing normal changes of those structures in the older adult.
  • Describe the normal anatomical structures and functions of the skin, hair, and nails and differentiate abnormalities related to different disease states and aging processes.
  • Define the role genetics has in health assessment and the effect on the development and function of the eyes.

Week 3 – Ear, Nose, Mouth, Throat, and Respiratory

As the course progresses, you’ll learn to:

  • Relate the current medical history to assessment findings of the ears, nose, mouth, and throat.
  • Describe indications of normal and abnormal respiratory functioning during inspection of the thorax.
  • Define the role genetics has in health assessment and the effect on the development and function on the ENT and respiratory systems.

Week 4 – Abdomen and Cardiovascular

Week four marks the midpoint of the course where you’ll learn to:

  • Describe the location of the abdominal organs in relation to the four quadrants.
  • Discuss current risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
  • Define the role genetics has in health assessment and the effect on the development and function on the abdomen and cardiovascular systems.

Week 5 – Midterm Health Assessment

In week five, you’ll learn to:

  • Complete a physical examination covering the assessment of systems in weeks 1-3.

Week 6 – Musculoskeletal and Neurological Assessment

In this week, you’ll learn to:

  • Perform an examination of the musculoskeletal and neurological systems while identifying normal and abnormal findings.
  • Describe the significance of the various curvatures of the spine and also describe the techniques used to assess range of motion of joints and muscle strength.
  • Define the role genetics has in health assessment and the effect on the development and function on the musculoskeletal and neurological systems.

Week 7 – Genitalia

As you get closer to the end of the course, you’ll learn to:

  • List the structures of the male genitals and the internal and external structures of the female genitalia.
  • Describe indications of normal and abnormal male and female genitourinary functioning during inspection of the system.
  • Define the role genetics has in health assessment and the effect on the development and function on the male genitourinary and female genitourinary systems.

Week 8 – Wrap Up

During the final week, you’ll learn to:

  • Complete a physical examination covering the assessment of systems in weeks 4-7 in addition to the cultural assessment.

Get Started

To learn more about this course or others in the online RN-BSN program from the University of Saint Mary, call 877-307-4915 to speak with an admissions advisor or request more information.