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Discussion: Assessing the Ears, Nose, and Throat SOAP Note

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Most ear, nose, and throat conditions that arise in non-critical care settings are minor in nature. However, subtle symptoms can sometimes escalate into life-threatening conditions that require prompt assessment and treatment. Nurses conducting assessments of the ears, nose, and throat must be able to identify the small differences between life-threatening conditions and benign ones. For instance, if a patient with a sore throat and a runny nose also has inflamed lymph nodes, the inflammation is probably due to the pathogen causing the sore throat rather than a case of throat cancer. With this knowledge and a sufficient patient health history, a nurse would not need to escalate the assessment to a biopsy or an MRI of the lymph nodes, but would probably perform a simple strep test.
In this Discussion, you consider case studies of abnormal findings from patients in a clinical setting. You determine what history should be collected from the patients, what physical exams and diagnostic tests should be conducted, and formulate a differential diagnosis with several possible conditions.
Note: By Day 1 of this week, your instructor will have assigned you to one of the following case studies to review for this Discussion. Also, your Discussion post should be in the SOAP Note format, rather than the traditional narrative style Discussion posting format. Refer to Chapter 2 of the Sullivan text and the Comprehensive SOAP Template in the Week 4 Learning Resources for guidance. Remember that not all comprehensive SOAP data are included in every patient case.
Case 3: Focused Ear Exam
Martha brings her 11-year old grandson, James, to your clinic to have his right ear checked. He has complained to her about a mild earache for the past two days. His grandmother believes that he feels warm but did not verify this with a thermometer. James states that the pain was worse while he was falling asleep and that it was harder for him to hear. When you begin basic assessments, you notice that James has a prominent tan. When you ask him how he\’s been spending his summer, James responds that he\’s been spending a lot of time in the pool.
To prepare:
With regard to the case study you were assigned:
• Review this week\’s Learning Resources and consider the insights they provide.
• Consider what history would be necessary to collect from the patient.
• Consider what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate to gather more information about the patient\’s condition. How would the results be used to make a diagnosis?
• Identify at least 10 possible conditions that may be considered in a differential diagnosis for the patient.
Note: Before you submit your initial post, replace the subject line (“Week 5 Discussion”) with “Review of Case Study ___,” identifying the number of the case study you were assigned.

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