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Week 4: Assessment of the Skin, Hair, and Nails

Something as small and simple as a mole or a discolored toenail can offer meaningful clues about a patient’s health. Abnormalities in skin, hair, and nails can provide non-invasive external clues to internal disorders or even prove to be disorders themselves. Being able to evaluate such abnormalities of the skin, hair, and nails is a diagnostic benefit for any nurse conducting health assessments.

This week, you will explore how to assess the skin, hair, and nails, as well as how to evaluate abnormal skin findings.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  •  Apply assessment skills to diagnose skin conditions
  • Apply concepts, theories, and principles relating to health assessment techniques and diagnoses for the skin, hair, and nails

Learning Resources

Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)

Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Seidel’s guide to physical examination: An interprofessional approach (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

  • Chapter 9, “Skin, Hair, and Nails”

    This chapter reviews the basic anatomy and physiology of skin, hair, and nails. The chapter also describes guidelines for proper skin, hair, and nails assessments.

Colyar, M. R. (2015). Advanced practice nursing procedures. Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.

Credit Line: Advanced practice nursing procedures, 1st Edition by Colyar, M. R. Copyright 2015 by F. A. Davis Company. Reprinted by permission of F. A. Davis Company via the Copyright Clearance Center.

This section explains the procedural knowledge needed prior to performing various dermatological procedures.

Chapter 1, “Punch Biopsy” Chapter 2, “Skin Biopsy” Chapter 10, “Nail Removal” Chapter 15, “Skin Lesion Removals: Keloids, Moles, Corns, Calluses” Chapter 16, “Skin Tag (Acrochordon) Removal” Chapter 22, “Suture Insertion” Chapter 24, “Suture Removal”

Dains, J. E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. (2019). Advanced health assessment and clinical diagnosis in primary care (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

Credit Line: Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Diagnosis in Primary Care, 6th Edition by Dains, J.E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. Copyright 2019 by Mosby. Reprinted by permission of Mosby via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Chapter 28, “Rashes and Skin Lesions”
This chapter explains the steps in an initial examination of someone with dermatological problems, including the type of information that needs to be gathered and assessed.

Note: Download and use the Student Checklist and the Key Points when you conduct your assessment of the skin, hair, and nails in this Week’s Lab Assignment. Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Skin, hair, and nails: Student checklist. In Seidel’s guide to physical examination (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.Credit Line: Seidel’s Guide to Physical Examination, 9th Edition by Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. Copyright 2019 by Elsevier Health Sciences. Reprinted by permission of Elsevier Health Sciences via the Copyright Clearance Center. Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Skin, hair, and nails: Key points. In Seidel’s guide to physical examination: An interprofessional approach (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby. Credit Line: Seidel’s Guide to Physical Examination, 9th Edition by Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. Copyright 2019 by Elsevier Health Sciences. Reprinted by permission of Elsevier Health Sciences via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Sullivan, D. D. (2019). Guide to clinical documentation (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.

  • Chapter 2, “The Comprehensive History and Physical Exam” (Previously read in Weeks 1 and 3)

VisualDx. (n.d.). Clinical decision support. Retrieved June 11, 2019, from http://www.skinsight.com/info/for_professionalsThis interactive website allows you to explore skin conditions according to age, gender, and area of the body. Clothier, A. (2014). Assessing and managing skin tears in older people. Nurse Prescribing, 12(6), 278–282. Document: Skin Conditions (Word document)This document contains five images of different skin conditions. You will use this information in this week’s Discussion. Document: Comprehensive SOAP Exemplar (Word document) Document: Comprehensive SOAP Template (Word document)

Shadow Health Support and Orientation Resources

Use the following resources to guide you through your Shadow Health orientation as well as other support resources: Frey, C. [Chris Frey]. (2015, September 4). Student orientation [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rfd_8pTJBkY Document: Shadow Health Support and Orientation Resources (PDF) Shadow Health. (n.d.). Shadow Health help desk. Retrieved from https://support.shadowhealth.com/hc/en-us Document: Shadow Health. (2014). Useful tips and tricks (Version 2) (PDF) Document: Shadow Health Nursing Documentation Tutorial (Word document) Document: Student Acknowledgement Form (Word document)Note: You will sign and date this form each time you complete your DCE Assignment in Shadow Health to acknowledge your commitment to Walden University’s Code of Conduct. Document: DCE (Shadow Health) Documentation Template for Health History (Word document)Use this template to complete your Assignment 2 for this week.

Optional Resources

LeBlond, R. F., Brown, D. D., & DeGowin, R. L. (2014). DeGowin’s diagnostic examination (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill Medical.

  • Chapter 6, “The Skin and Nails”

    In this chapter, the authors provide guidelines and procedures to aid in the diagnosis of skin and nail disorders. The chapter supplies descriptions and pictures of common skin and nail conditions.

Ethicon, Inc. (n.d.-a). Absorbable synthetic suture material. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20170215015223/http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/surgery/education/resident_info/supplement/suture_manuals/absorbable_suture_chart.pdf Ethicon, Inc. (2006). Dermabond topical skin adhesive application technique. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20150921174121/http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/surgery/education/resident_info/supplement/suture_manuals/db_application_poster.pdf Ethicon, Inc. (2001). Ethicon needle sales types. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20150921171922/http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/surgery/education/resident_info/supplement/suture_manuals/needle_template.pdf Ethicon, Inc. (n.d.-b). Ethicon sutures. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20150921202525/http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/surgery/education/resident_info/supplement/suture_manuals/suture_chart_ethicon.pdf Ethicon, Inc. (2002). How to care for your wound after it’s treated with Dermabond topical skin adhesive. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20150926002534/http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/surgery/education/resident_info/supplement/suture_manuals/db_wound_care.pdf Ethicon, Inc. (2005). Knot tying manual. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20160915214422/http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/surgery/education/resident_info/supplement/suture_manuals/knot_tying_manual.pdf Ethicon, Inc. (n.d.-c). Wound closure manual. Retrieved from http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/surgery/Education/facilities/measey/Wound_Closure_Manual.pdf
Required Media (click to expand/reduce)


Assignment 1: Lab Assignment: Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions

To Prepare

  • Review the Skin Conditions document provided in this week’s Learning Resources, and select one condition to closely examine for this Lab Assignment.
  • Consider the abnormal physical characteristics you observe in the graphic you selected. How would you describe the characteristics using clinical terminologies?
  • Explore different conditions that could be the cause of the skin abnormalities in the graphics you selected.
  • Consider which of the conditions is most likely to be the correct diagnosis, and why.
  • Search the Walden library for one evidence-based practice, peer-reviewed article based on the skin condition you chose for this Lab Assignment.
  • Review the Comprehensive SOAP Exemplar found in this week’s Learning Resources to guide you as you prepare your SOAP note.
  • Download the SOAP Template found in this week’s Learning Resources, and use this template to complete this Lab Assignment.

The Lab Assignment

  • Choose one skin condition graphic (identify by number in your Chief Complaint) to document your assignment in the SOAP (Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan) note format rather than the traditional narrative style. Refer to Chapter 2 of the Sullivan text and the Comprehensive SOAP Template in this week’s Learning Resources for guidance. Remember that not all comprehensive SOAP data are included in every patient case.
  • Use clinical terminologies to explain the physical characteristics featured in the graphic. Formulate a differential diagnosis of three to five possible conditions for the skin graphic that you chose. Determine which is most likely to be the correct diagnosis and explain your reasoning using at least three different references, one reference from current evidence-based literature from your search and two different references from this week’s Learning Resources.
By Day 7 of Week 4

Submit your Lab Assignment. 

Submission and Grading Information

To submit your completed Assignment for review and grading, do the following:

  • Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK4Assgn1+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 4 Assignment 1 Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
  • Click the Week 4 Assignment 1 link. You will also be able to “View Rubric” for grading criteria from this area.
  • Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “WK4Assgn1+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
  • If applicable: From the Plagiarism Tools area, click the checkbox for I agree to submit my paper(s) to the Global Reference Database.
  • Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:Week 4 Assignment 1 Rubric

Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:Submit your Week 4 Assignment 1 draft and review the originality report.

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 4

To participate in this Assignment:Week 4 Assignment 1


Assignment 2: Digital Clinical Experience (DCE): Health History Assessment

To Prepare

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources as well as the Taking a Health History media program in Week 3, and consider how you might incorporate these strategies. Download and review the Student Checklist: Health History Guide and the History Subjective Data Checklist, provided in this week’s Learning Resources, to guide you through the necessary components of the assessment.
  • Review the DCE (Shadow Health) Documentation Template for Health History found in this week’s Learning Resources and use this template to complete your Documentation Notes for this DCE Assignment.
  • Access and login to Shadow Health using the link in the left-hand navigation of the Blackboard classroom.
  • Review the Shadow Health Student Orientation media program and the Useful Tips and Tricks document provided in the week’s Learning Resources to guide you through Shadow Health.
  • Review the Week 4 DCE Health History Assessment Rubric, provided in the Assignment submission area, for details on completing the Assignment.

Note: There are 2 parts to this assignment – the lab pass and the documentation. You must achieve a total score of 80% in order to pass this assignment. Carefully review the rubric and video presentation in order to fully understand the requirements of this assignment.

DCE Health History Assessment:

Complete the following in Shadow Health:

Orientation

  • DCE Orientation (15 minutes)
  • Conversation Concept Lab (50 minutes)

Health History

  • Health History of Tina Jones (180 minutes)

Note: Each Shadow Health Assessment may be attempted and reopened as many times as necessary prior to the due date to achieve a total of 80% or better (this includes your DCE and your Documentation Notes), but you must take all attempts by the Week 4 Day 7 deadline.

Submission and Grading Information

By Day 7 of Week 4
  • Complete your Health Assessment DCE assignments in Shadow Health via the Shadow Health link in Blackboard.
  • Once you complete your assignment in Shadow Health, you will need to download your lab pass and upload it to the corresponding assignment in Blackboard for your faculty review. 
  • (Note: Please save your lab pass as “LastName_FirstName_AssignmentName”.) You can find instructions for downloading your lab pass here: https://link.shadowhealth.com/download-lab-pass
  • Once you submit your Documentation Notes to Shadow Health, make sure to copy and paste the same Documentation Notes into your Assignment submission link below.
  • Download, sign, date, and submit your Student Acknowledgement Form found in the Learning Resources for this week.
  • Note: You must pass this assignment with a minimum score of 80%  in order to pass the class. Once submitted, there are not any opportunities to revise or repeat this assignment. 
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:Week 4 Assignment 2 DCE Rubric

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 4

To submit your Lab Pass:Week 4 Lab Pass To submit this required part of the Assignment:Week 4 Documentation Notes for Assignment 2 To Submit your Student Acknowledgement Form:Submit your Week 4 Assignment 2 DCE Student Acknowledgement Form


Assignment 3 (Optional) Practice Assessment: Skin, Hair, and Nails Examination

Advanced practice nurses are required to have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform many different physical assessments and health examinations. In this course, you will demonstrate your abilities in this area by conducting various optional examinations on a volunteer “patient.”

In preparation for the Comprehensive (Head-to-Toe) Physical Assessment due in Week 9, it is recommended that you practice conducting an assessment of the skin, hair, and nails this week.

Note: This is an optional practice physical assessment.

To Prepare

  • Arrange an appropriate time and setting with your volunteer “patient” to perform a skin, hair, and nails examination. 
  • Download and review the Skin, Hair, and Nails Student Checklist and Key Points, provided in this week’s Learning Resources, and review the Seidel’s Guide to Physical Examination online media.

Optional Lab Assignment

  • Perform the skin, hair, and nails examination, covering all of the areas listed in the checklist.

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