Recent scientific advances in the field of genomics call for the urgent redefinition of nursing practice. Now, when using a holistic approach toward health examination, healthcare professionals should account for the patient’s socioeconomic determinants and genetic predisposition to a disease. This paper briefly overviews the significance of a comprehensive physical assessment that contains data on environmental and genomic influences from a nurse executive’s perspective.
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For the holistic health examination, nurses should consider patients’ environmental determinants, which include socioeconomic position, residential location, occupational risks, and other related factors. According to Murray (2018), the individual’s environmental context has a strong influence on the health disparities which occur partly because of one’s unsatisfactory living conditions. Andermann (2016) followed that nurses are responsible for identifying risks connected to the patient’s social determinants.
Before the physical assessment, healthcare professionals should determine whether one’s inability to access the healthcare system timely is not connected with unemployment, legal status issues, addictions, and other social challenges. If patients self-report adherence to adverse environmental influences, nurses need to refer them to support services (Andermann, 2016). It is essential to realize that an illness cannot be treated without the elimination of its main root causes.
To further improve the quality of the physical assessment, nurses should incorporate genomic competencies in their practice. With information about the patient’s genetic predisposition being vital for the identification of the right diagnosis, treatment, and dosage, a comprehensive health examination is not possible without considering genomic influences (McCormick & Calzone, 2016). As explained by Lopes-Junior, Bomfim, and Floria-Santos (2015), when holding nursing consultation, practitioners collect and validate the family history, advising for genetic testing. Nurses are also responsible for reporting subjective patients’ experiences, which might be related to early signs of genetic disorders.
Finally, healthcare professionals, demonstrating a high level of awareness in the field of genomics, may identify patients at risk of genetically determined diseases (Lopes-Junior et al., 2015). To increase the nurse’s genomic competencies, additional educational opportunities should be created.
Ultimately, a comprehensive health assessment requires information about the patient’s environmental and genomic influences. On the one hand, adverse living conditions may prevent an individual from accessing the healthcare system, contributing to the development of a disease. On the other hand, genetic predisposition has a critical place in the confirmation of the right diagnosis. Thus, for a holistic physical examination, nurses should collect and analyze data on both socioeconomic and genomic factors.
Andermann, A. (2016). Taking action on the social determinants of health in clinical practice: A framework for health professionals. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 188(17-18), 474-483. Web.
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Lopes-Junior, L. C., Bomfim, E. O., & Floria-Santos, M. (2015). Genomics-based health care: Implications for nursing. International Journal of Nursing Didactics, 5(2), 11-15. Web.
McCormick, K. A., & Calzone, K., A. (2016). The impact of genomics on health outcomes, quality and safety. Nursing Management, 47(4), 23-26. Web.
Murray, T. A. (2018). Overview and summary: Addressing social determinants of health: Progress and opportunities. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(3). Web.