Evaluation of the Patient’s Head
The first part of the assessment is the evaluation of the patient’s head. Initially, it is recommended to start with inspecting the size of the patient’s head. After that, the emphasis should be put on the temporal artery. The assessment of this area may help the nurse to identify arthritis. Another part of interest is the patient’s temporomandibular joint (Estes, 2013). This area should be checked for dysfunctions as the problems with the joint may lead to earaches, headaches, and neck aches. The examination of the patient’s scalp should be carried out without fail. It is rather important to identify tenderness and lesions as soon as possible. The techniques to be used when inspecting the face are central brain lesions and exophthalmos. The assessment of this particular area may not include the evaluation of the patient’s face symmetry, facial expression, or changes in skin color (Jarvis, 2016). Throughout the examination of the patient’s face, I would also recommend disregarding the evaluation of the patient’s eyebrows.
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Evaluation of the Patient’s Neck and Lymph Nodes
The next section is the inspection of the patient’s neck. In this case, the assessment technique presupposes the evaluation of the patient’s head position (symmetry) and the presence of muscular spasms (Jarvis, 2016). The ROM should also be evaluated in addition to the ability to turn head and not shoulders. I recommend these techniques because they are beneficial in identifying the inflammation of neck muscles and arthritis.
Another set of important techniques is used during the examination of lymph nodes (Estes, 2013). The nurse is responsible for evaluating the shape and size of the patient’s lymph nodes. This technique may be utilized by the nurse to assess the consistency of the node, its tenderness, and mobility. Some of the lymph nodes that should be evaluated include preauricular, submental, jugulodigastric, and supraclavicular.
Evaluation of the Patient’s Eyes
The assessment of the patient’s thyroid gland should be quick. Then, the nurse would examine the patient’s eyes. This assessment technique may be used to identify ptosis or enophthalmos. Some of the techniques that are not recommended include the assessment of eyebrows and eyelashes (Estes, 2013). Nonetheless, this assessment aspect presupposes the examination of the patient’s eyes because it may be helpful in terms of identifying drainage, soreness, and inflammation. The nurse may be interested in applying these assessment techniques to diagnose conjunctivitis or cataract. Next, skin color around the eyes should be examined, and any tenderness should be palpated (Jarvis, 2016). When assessing the patient’s tympanic membrane, I would not recommend utilizing an otoscope as it does not bring any added value to the outcomes of the assessment.
Evaluation of the Patient’s Nose, Throat, and Mouth
There are several important assessment techniques when it comes to the evaluation of the patient’s nose, throat, and mouth. The nurse should test the patient for inflammations and patency (Jarvis, 2016). The technique that is recommended is the palpation of sinuses because it will help the nurse to find any existing swellings and lesions. When assessing the patient’s throat, I would inspect for acute infections and evaluate the size of the enlargement (if it exists). The patient’s mouth should be inspected for the presence of drainages and inflammations. This assessment technique may be helpful in terms of identifying gingival hypertrophy (Estes, 2013). I would also inspect the patient’s mouth for bleeding gums and an enlarged tongue.
Estes, M. (2013). Health assessment and physical examination. New York, NY: Cengage.
Jarvis, C. (2016). Physical examination & health assessment (7ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders.
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