Week 7: Assessment of the Heart, Lungs, and Peripheral Vascular System

Published by Brenda I. Belcher

Mar 27, 2021

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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the largest cause of death worldwide. Accounting for 610,000 deaths annually (CDC, 2017), CVD frequently goes unnoticed until it is too late. Early detection and prevention measures can save the lives of many patients who have CVD. Conducting an assessment of the heart, lungs, and peripheral vascular system is one of the first steps that can be taken to detect CVD and many more conditions that may occur in the thorax or chest area.

This week, you will evaluate abnormal findings in the area of the chest and lungs. In addition, you will appraise health assessment techniques and diagnoses for the heart, lungs, and peripheral vascular system.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Evaluate abnormal cardiac and respiratory findings
  • Apply concepts, theories, and principles relating to health assessment techniques and diagnoses for the heart, lungs, and peripheral vascular system

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 14, “Chest and Lungs”

    This chapter explains the physical exam process for the chest and lungs. The authors also include descriptions of common abnormalities in the chest and lungs.
  • Chapter 15, “Heart”

    The authors of this chapter explain the structure and function of the heart. The text also describes the steps used to conduct an exam of the heart.
  • Chapter 16, “Blood Vessels”

    This chapter describes how to properly conduct a physical examination of the blood vessels. The chapter also supplies descriptions of common heart disorders.

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

  • Chapter 107, “X-Ray Interpretation: Chest (pp. 480–487) (previously read in Week 6; specifically focus on pp. 480–481)

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 8, “Chest Pain”
This chapter focuses on diagnosing the cause of chest pain and highlights the importance of first determining whether the patient is in a life-threatening condition. It includes questions that can help pinpoint the type and severity of pain and then describes how to perform a physical examination. Finally, the authors outline potential laboratory and diagnostic studies.
Chapter 11, “Cough”
A cough is a very common symptom in patients and usually indicates a minor health problem. This chapter focuses on how to determine the cause of the cough by asking questions and performing a physical exam.
Chapter 14, “Dyspnea”
The focus of this chapter is dyspnea, or shortness of breath. The chapter includes strategies for determining the cause of the problem through evaluation of the patient’s history, through physical examination, and through additional laboratory and diagnostic tests.
Chapter 26, “Palpitations”
This chapter describes the different causes of heart palpitations and details how the specific cause in a patient can be determined.
Chapter 33, “Syncope”
This chapter focuses on syncope, or loss of consciousness. The authors describe the difficulty of ascertaining the cause, because the patient is usually seen after the loss of consciousness has happened. The chapter includes information on potential causes and the symptoms of each.

Note: Download the Student Checklists and Key Points to use during your practice cardiac and respiratory examination. Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Chest and lungs: Student checklist. 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. Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Chest and lungs: 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. Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Heart: Student checklist. 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. Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Heart: 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. Katz, J. N., Lyons, N., Wolff, L. S., Silverman, J., Emrani, P., Holt, H. L., … Losina, E. (2011). Medical decision-making among Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites with chronic back and knee pain: A qualitative study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 12(1), 78–85.

This study examines the medical decision making among Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites. The authors also analyze the preferred information sources used for making decisions in these populations. Smuck, M., Kao, M., Brar, N., Martinez-Ith, A., Choi, J., & Tomkins-Lane, C. C. (2014). Does physical activity influence the relationship between low back pain and obesity? The Spine Journal, 14(2), 209–216. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2013.11.010 Shiri, R., Solovieva , S., Husgafvel-Pursiainen, K., Telama, R., Yang, X., Viikari, J., Raitakari, O. T., & Viikari-Juntura, E. (2013). The role of obesity and physical activity in non-specific and radiating low back pain: The Young Finns study. Seminars in Arthritis & Rheumatism, 42(6), 640–650. doi:10.1016/j.semarthrit.2012.09.002 McCabe, C., & Wiggins, J. (2010a). Differential diagnosis of respiratory disease part 1. Practice Nurse, 40(1), 35–41.

This article describes the warning signs of impending deterioration of the respiratory system. The authors also explain the features of common respiratory conditions. McCabe, C., & Wiggins, J. (2010b). Differential diagnosis of respiratory diseases part 2. Practice Nurse, 40(2), 33–41.

The authors of this article specify how to identify the major causes of acute breathlessness. Additionally, they explain how to interpret a variety of findings from respiratory investigations.

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 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: 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 Focused Exam: Chest Pain (Word document)Use this template to complete your Assignment 1 for this week.

Optional Resource

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

  • Chapter 8, “The Chest: Chest Wall, Pulmonary, and Cardiovascular Systems; The Breasts” (Section 1, “Chest Wall, Pulmonary, and Cardiovascular Systems,” pp. 302–433)

    Note:
     Section 2 of this chapter will be addressed in Week 10.

    This section of Chapter 8 describes the anatomy of the chest wall, pulmonary, and cardiovascular systems. Section 1 also explains how to properly conduct examinations of these areas.

Required Media (click to expand/reduce)


Assignment 1: Digital Clinical Experience: Assessing the Heart, Lungs, and Peripheral Vascular System

To Prepare
  • Review this week’s Learning Resources and the Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning media program and consider the insights they provide related to heart, lungs, and peripheral vascular system.
  • Review the Shadow Health Resources provided in this week’s Learning Resources specifically the tutorial to guide you through the documentation and interpretation with the Shadow Health platform. Review the examples also provided.
  • Review the DCE (Shadow Health) Documentation Template for Focused Exam: Chest Pain 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 Week 7 DCE Focused Exam: Chest Pain Rubric provided in the Assignment submission area for details on completing the Assignment in Shadow Health.
  • 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?
DCE Focused Exam: Chest Pain Assignment:

Complete the following in Shadow Health:

  • Cardiovascular Concept Lab (Required)
  • Respiratory(Recommended but not required)
  • Cardiovascular (Recommended but not required)
  • Episodic/Focused Note for Focused Exam (Required): Chest Pain

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 7 Day 7 deadline.

Submission and Grading Information

By Day 7 of Week 7
  • Complete your Focused Exam: Chest Pain DCE Assignment 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.
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:Week 7 Assignment 1 DCE Rubric

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 7

To submit your Lab Pass:Week 7 Lab Pass To participate in this Assignment:Week 7 Documentation Notes for Assignment 1 To Submit your Student Acknowledgement Form:Submit your Week 7 Assignment 1 DCE Student Acknowledgement Form


Assignment 2: Lab Assignment (Optional): Practice Assessment: Cardiac and Respiratory Examination

It is crucial to diagnose cardiac and respiratory conditions early due to the critical nature of these organs. Before a condition can be diagnosed, an examination must be conducted. Properly conducting a cardiac and respiratory examination requires detailed knowledge of the examination procedure and experience in performing this assessment.

In preparation for the Comprehensive (Head-to-Toe) Physical Assessment due in Week 9, it is recommended that you practice performing a cardiac and respiratory examination 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 cardiac and respiratory examination.
  • Download and review the Cardiac and Respiratory Checklists provided in this week’s Learning Resources as well as review the Seidel’s Guide to Physical Examination online media.
  • Ensure that you have a stethoscope to perform the examination.

Optional Lab Assignment

  • Perform the cardiac and respiratory examination. Be sure to cover all of the areas listed in the checklist and to use the equipment appropriately.

What’s Coming Up in Week 8?

Week 8 Required Media

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