Undergraduate health assessment courses are taken as part of a nursing program. Coursework is divided into several portions, sometimes referred to as 'modules,' that focus on the assessment of different parts of the body. The health assessment portion teaches skills such as how to take health histories and give physical examinations.
Some concepts taught in these courses are:
- Differentiating between different health assessment related problems
- Understand methods for taking medical history on different kinds of patients
- Learn various assessment and documentation techniques
- Identify health differences from the norm by assessing various factors over a patient's life
- Performing comprehensive physicals and health exams
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List of Health Assessment Course Modules
Assessing Eye Health
Students learn to obtain a patient's eye health history. They perform eye examinations and distinguish between abnormal and normal conditions. Students examine the eyes to ensure proper movement, balance and proportion. The patient's pupils and irises are analyzed for any signs of swelling, jaundice or anemia. Color or pattern changes in the eyes are noted. Students may make recommendations on promoting eye health.
This course covers the examination of the ears. .The ears are tested for hearing, discharge or ringing (tinnitus). Students look for deformities or tenderness in and around the ears. When testing patients for hearing, students must request that patients cover one ear to test the other.
Students learn to give complete cardiovascular assessments during this course. Part of the process involves taking a patient's blood pressure and pulse, and listening to the sounds of the heart. Patients are checked for evidence of heart arrhythmia and heart murmurs. Extremities are examined to check the blood flow, as well as to check on the condition of arteries and veins.
Organs such as the stomach, intestines and esophagus are assessed. The patient's abdominal area is examined in four parts for protrusions, concavities, rashes, scars or other irregularities. Stethoscopes are used to listen to the bowels for signs of hyperactivity or diminished activity.
Body symmetry and posture are evaluated in this training course. A patient's muscles, joints and bones are palpated to determine strength and movement. Muscle tone, motor skills, coordination and muscle mass are also observed. Students learn to document any abnormalities.