NURS 6512 Week 10: Special Examinations—Breast, Genital, Prostate, and Rectal
Week 10: Special Examinations—Breast, Genital, Prostate, and Rectal
One critical element of any physical exam is the ability of the examiner to put the patient at ease. By putting the patient at ease, nurses are more likely to glean quality, meaningful information that will help the patient get the best care possible. When someone feels safe, listened to, and cared about, exams often go more smoothly. This is especially true when dealing with issues concerning breasts, genitals, prostates, and rectums, which are subjects that many patients find difficult to talk about. As a result, it is important to gain a firm understanding of how to gain vital information and perform the necessary assessment techniques in as non-invasive a manner as possible.
In final preparation for this week’s head-to-toe physical examination, you explore how to assess problems with the breasts, genitalia, rectum, and prostate.
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- Evaluate abnormal findings on the genitalia and rectum
- Apply concepts, theories, and principles relating to health assessment techniques and diagnoses for the breasts, genitalia, prostate, and rectum
- Assess health conditions based on a head-to-toe physical examination
Photo Credit: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Getty Images
Learning Resources: Week 10: Special Examinations—Breast, Genital, Prostate, and Rectal
Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.
Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2015). Seidel’s guide to physical examination (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
- Chapter 16, “Breasts and Axillae” (pp. 350-369)This chapter focuses on examining the breasts and axillae. The authors describe the examination procedures and the anatomy and physiology of breasts.
- Chapter 18, “Female Genitalia” (pp. 416-465)In this chapter, the authors explain how to conduct an examination of female genitalia. The chapter also describes the form and function of female genitalia.
- Chapter 19, “Male Genitalia” (pp. 466-484)The authors explain the biology of the penis, testicles, epididymides, scrotum, prostate gland, and seminal vesicles. Additionally, the chapter explains how to perform an exam of these areas.
- Chapter 20, “Anus, Rectum, and Prostate” (pp. 485-500)This chapter focuses on performing an exam of the anus, rectum, and prostate. The authors also explain the anatomy and physiology of the anus, rectum, and prostate.
Dains, J. E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. (2016). Advanced health assessment and clinical diagnosis in primary care (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
- Chapter 5, “Amenorrhea” (pp. 47-60)Amenorrhea, or the absence of menstruation, is the focus of this chapter. The authors include key questions to ask patients when taking histories and explain what to look for in the physical exam.
- Chapter 6, “Breast Lumps and Nipple Discharge” (pp. 61-72)This chapter focuses on the important topic of breast lumps and nipple discharge. Because breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis. Information in the chapter includes key questions to ask and what to look for in the physical exam.
- Chapter 7, “Breast Pain” (pp. 73-80)Determining the cause of breast pain can be difficult. This chapter examines how to determine the likely cause of the pain through diagnostic tests, physical examination, and careful analysis of a patient’s health history.
- Chapter 27, “Penile Discharge” (pp. 318-324)The focus of this chapter is on how to diagnose the causes of penile discharge. The authors include specific questions to ask when gathering a patient’s history to narrow down the likely diagnosis. They also give advice on performing a focused physical exam.
- Chapter 36, “Vaginal Bleeding” (pp. 419-433)In this chapter, the causes of vaginal bleeding are explored. The authors focus on symptoms outside the regular menstrual cycle. The authors discuss key questions to ask the patient, as well as specific physical examination procedures and laboratory studies that may be useful in reaching a diagnosis.
- Chapter 37, “Vaginal Discharge and Itching” (pp. 434-445)This chapter examines the process of identifying causes of vaginal discharge and itching. The authors include questions on the characteristics of the discharge, the possibility of the issues being the result of a sexually transmitted infection, and how often the discharge occurs. A chart highlights potential diagnoses based on patient history, physical findings, and diagnostic studies.
Sullivan, D. D. (2019). Guide to clinical documentation (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.
- Chapter 3, “Adult Preventative Care Visits” (“Gender Specific Screenings”; p. 137)
Note: Download the Physical Examination Objective Data Checklist to use as you complete the Head-to-Toe Physical Assessment Video assignment.
Seidel, H. M., Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2011). Physical examination objective data checklist. In Mosby’s guide to physical examination (7th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby. This Physical Examination Objective Data Checklist was published as a companion to Seidel’s guide to physical examination (8th ed.), by Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., & Flynn, J. A. Copyright Elsevier (2015). From https://evolve.elsevier.com/
Cucci, E. Santoro, A., DiGesu, C., DiCerce, R., & Sallustio, G. (2015). Sclerosing adenosis of the breast: Report of two cases and review of the literature. Polish Journal of Radiology, 80, 122–127. doi:10.12659/PJR.892706. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4356184/
Sabbagh, C., Mauvis, F., Vecten, A., Ainseba, N., Cosse, C., Diouf, M., & Regimbeau, J. M. (2014). What is the best position for analyzing the lower and middle rectum and sphincter function in a digital rectal examination? A randomized, controlled study in men. Digestive and Liver Disease, 46(12), 1082–1085. doi:10.1016/j.dld.2014.08.045
Retrieved from the Walden Library Databases.
Westhoff, C. L., Jones, H. E., & Guiahi, M. (2011). Do new guidelines and technology make the routine pelvic examination obsolete? Journal of Women’s Health, 20(1), 5–10.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
This article describes the benefits of new technology and guidelines for pelvic exams. The authors also detail which guidelines and technology may become obsolete.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/std/#
This section of the CDC website provides a range of information on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The website includes reports on STDs, related projects and initiatives, treatment information, and program tools.
University of Virginia. (n.d.). Introduction to radiology: An online interactive tutorial. Retrieved from http://www.med-ed.virginia.edu/courses/rad/index.html
This website provides an introduction to radiology and imaging. For this week, focus on genitourinary radiology, as well as the cross-sectional female pelvis and the cross-sectional male pelvis in abdominal radiology.
Online media for Seidel’s Guide to Physical Examination
It is highly recommended that you access and view the resources included with the course text, Seidel’s Guide to Physical Examination. Focus on the videos and animations in Chapters 16 and 18–20 that relate to special examinations, including breast, genital, prostate, and rectal. Refer to the Week 4 Learning Resources area for access instructions on https://evolve.elsevier.com/.
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 2, “The Breasts,” pp. 434–444)Section 2 of this chapter focuses on the anatomy and physiology of breasts. The section provides descriptions of breast examinations and common breast conditions.
- Chapter 11, “The Female Genitalia and Reproductive System” (pp. 541–562)In this chapter, the authors provide an overview of the female reproductive system. The authors also describe symptoms of disorders in the reproductive system.
- Chapter 12, “The Male Genitalia and Reproductive System” (pp. 563–584)The authors of this chapter detail the anatomy of the male reproductive system. Additionally, the authors describe how to conduct an exam of the male reproductive system.
- Review of Chapter 9, “The Abdomen, Perineum, Anus, and Rectosigmoid” (pp. 445–527)
Assignment 1: Assessing the Genitalia and Rectum
Patients are frequently uncomfortable discussing with health care professional’s issues that involve the genitalia and rectum; however, gathering an adequate history and properly conducting a physical exam are vital. Examining case studies of genital and rectal abnormalities can help prepare advanced practice nurses to accurately assess patients with problems in these areas.
In this assignment, you will consider case studies that describe abnormal findings in patients seen in a clinical setting.
In this assignment, you will analyze a SOAP note case study that describes abnormal findings in patients seen in a clinical setting. You will consider what history should be collected from the patients, as well as which physical exams and diagnostic tests should be conducted. You will also formulate a differential diagnosis with several possible conditions.
- CC: “I have bumps on my bottom that I want to have checked out.”
- HPI: AB, a 21-year-old WF college student reports to your clinic with external bumps on her genital area. She states the bumps are painless and feel rough. She states she is sexually active and has had more than one partner over the past year. Her initial sexual contact occurred at age 18. She reports no abnormal vaginal discharge. She is unsure how long the bumps have been there but noticed them about a week ago. Her last Pap smear exam was 3 years ago, and no dysplasia was found; the exam results were normal. She reports one sexually transmitted infection (chlamydia) about 2 years ago. She completed the treatment for chlamydia as prescribed.
- PMH: Asthma
- Medications: Symbicort 160/4.5mcg
- Allergies: NKDA
- FH: No hx of breast or cervical cancer, Father hx HTN, Mother hx HTN, GERD
- Social: Denies tobacco use; occasional etoh, married, 3 children (1 girl, 2 boys)
- VS: Temp 98.6; BP 120/86; RR 16; P 92; HT 5’10”; WT 169lbs
- Heart: RRR, no murmurs
- Lungs: CTA, chest wall symmetrical
- Genital: Normal female hair pattern distribution; no masses or swelling. Urethral meatus intact without erythema or discharge. Perineum intact with a healed episiotomy scar present. Vaginal mucosa pink and moist with rugae present, pos for firm, round, small, painless ulcer noted on external labia
- Abd: soft, normoactive bowel sounds, neg rebound, neg murphy’s, neg McBurney
- Diagnostics: HSV specimen obtained
- PLAN: This section is not required for the assignments in this course (NURS 6512) but will be required for future courses.
With regard to the SOAP note case study provided:
- Review this week’s Learning Resources, and consider the insights they provide about the case study.
- Consider what history would be necessary to collect from the patient in the case study.
- 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 five possible conditions that may be considered in a differential diagnosis for the patient.
Refer to Chapter 5 of the Sullivan text. Analyze the SOAP note case study. Using evidence based resources, answer the following questions and support your answers using current evidence from the literature.
- Analyze the subjective portion of the note. List additional information that should be included in the documentation.
- Analyze the objective portion of the note. List additional information that should be included in the documentation.
- Is the assessment supported by the subjective and objective information? Why or Why not?
- Would diagnostics be appropriate for this case and how would the results be used to make a diagnosis?
- Would you reject/accept the current diagnosis? Why or why not? Identify three possible conditions that may be considered as a differential diagnosis for this patient. Explain your reasoning using at least 3 different references from current evidence based literature.
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Assignment 2: Head-to-Toe Physical Assessment Video
Throughout this course, you were encouraged to practice conducting various physical assessments on multiple areas of the body, ranging from the head to the toes. Each of these assessments, however, was conducted independently of one another. For this Assignment, you connect the knowledge and skills you gained from each individual assessment to perform a comprehensive head-to-toe physical examination on a volunteer “patient.”
- Arrange an appropriate time and setting with your volunteer “patient” to perform a head-to-toe physical examination. Note: Your volunteer’s Video Release Form must be submitted prior to the exam. Refer to the Week 1 Looking Ahead for release form details.
- Download and review the Physical Examination Objective Data Checklist from this week’s Learning Resources.
- Ensure that you have the appropriate lighting and equipment to perform the examination.
- Record yourself performing the head-to-toe physical examination. Be sure to cover all of the areas listed in the checklist and to use any equipment appropriately.
By Day 7
This Assignment is due. Submit your video using the Kaltura Mashup tool accessible through the Assignment submission link provided.
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- 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.
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Week in Review
This week, you culminated the knowledge and skills you gained from each individual assessment of multiple areas of the body to perform a comprehensive head-to-toe examine on your ‘patient’ while recording yourself using Kaltura.
Next week, you will consider how evidence-based practice guidelines and ethical considerations factor into health assessments. In addition, you will evaluate health assessment concepts related to sports physicals and well-child and well-woman examinations.