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Basic Health Assessment Refresher Course Curriculum

Course Dates: December 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021

Goal: This course is a computer-based learning program that provides an opportunity for registered nurses to further develop and hone basic health assessment skills prior to beginning an advanced health assessment course

Learning outcome: At the completion of this program 100% of participants will be able to demonstrate the correct approach to perform a head-to-toe physical assessment

Target Audience: Registered Nurses

Course Agenda:

Unit 1 (Text chapter 1)
This unit will provide information on the components of the Health History including the following:

  • Components of Comprehensive History
  • Components of Focused History
  • Symptom analysis: PQRST or OLDCARTS
  • History of Present Illness versus Past Medical History versus Review of Systems

Unit 2 (Text chapter 2)
This unit will provide information on examination of Skin, Hair, and Nails including the following:

  • Inspection & palpation of hair, skin
  • Inspection of nails for shape, clubbing

Unit 3 (Text chapters 10 and 11)
This unit will provide information on examination of the Head, Nose and Sinuses, Mouth, Pharynx, and Neck including the following:

  • Inspection of all structures
  • Palpation of thyroid gland
  • Identification of and palpation of lymph nodes of the neck

Unit 4 (Text chapter 12)
This unit will provide information on examination of the Eyes including the following:

  • Pupils Equal, Round, Reactive to Light and Accommodation
  • Extraocular movements of the eyes
  • Visual fields by confrontation
  • Fundoscopic: Visualize red reflex, optic disk, vessels 

Unit 5 (Text chapter 13)
This unit will provide information on examination of the Ears including the following:

  • Inspection of external structure and external ear canal
  • Tympanic membranes: Visualize color, light reflex, bony landmarks

Unit 6 (Text chapters 14 and 15)
This unit will provide information on examination of the Chest including the following:

  • Inspection, percussion & palpation of chest wall
  • Auscultation of heart and lung sounds
  • Breath sounds: Characteristics of crackles, wheeze, friction rub
  • Heart sounds: Identify presence, quality, rhythm of S1, S2. Characteristics of S3, S4,
  • Identify presence of murmur

Unit 7 (Text chapters 16 and 22)
This unit will provide information on examination of the Extremities including the following:

  • Palpation of pulses for rhythm and quality: Brachial, radial, popliteal, posterior tibialis, dorsalis pedis
  • Assessment of range of motion of major joints: shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, ankle
  • Strength testing – upper and lower extremities

Unit 8 (Text chapter 18)
This unit will provide information on examination of the Abdomen including the following:

  • Inspection for contour
  • Auscultation of bowel sounds
  • Palpation and percussion techniques

Unit 9 (Text chapter 23)
This unit will provide information on examination of the Neurological System including the following:

  • Cranial nerves II through XII
  • Rhomberg test and rapid repeated movements test
  • Deep tendon reflexes: Brachial, radial, patellar, posterior tibialis, Babinski

To earn a certificate for 25 contact hours participants must complete an evaluation form, all computer-based learning units of the program, a self-assessment review test for each unit assigned with a passing score of 83 or better, and successfully complete a return demonstration of a head-totoe physical assessment. The planning committee, faculty and content reviewers have declared no conflict of interest, there is no commercial support for this program.

Seton Hall University College of Nursing is approved as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by New Jersey State Nurses Association an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation. P#196-10/2021.

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