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Freaking out about 1st Nursing assessment exam

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My first exam is next Thursday and you already know how I feel....OMG

WDWpixieRN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg <1; Epic Certified <1.

Yeah, I remember....we thought we were going to have to retest for our 3rd semester and we were freaking out!! Even though some of us have actually done some of the skills in clinicals on real people, the thought of standing in front of lab personnel being scrutinized was more than we could handle, lol!!

You will do great; I've seen a lot of your posts and you are obviously conscientious and intelligent. Best wishes!!

i totally agree with the above poster-- you'll do great. the first exams are always scary!

i have a few practice tests up if you'd like to practice. click here and it will take you to my site. all of the information is what we learned in my first quarter of nursing school.

you're going to do great!

waw. thanks alot :)

i totally agree with the above poster-- you'll do great. the first exams are always scary!

i have a few practice tests up if you'd like to practice. click here and it will take you to my site. all of the information is what we learned in my first quarter of nursing school.

you're going to do great!

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

what is the assessment exam over? any particular body system, or assessment style? there are links to assessment web sites on

https://allnurses.com/forums/f205/health-assessment-resources-techniques-forms-145091.html - health assessment resources, techniques, and forms (in nursing student assistance forum). i have links to help with gordon's 11 functional needs as well if you are having to learn to assess by that system.

my exam is over the following:-

nursing process, interviewing, health history, assessment techniques

general survey, skin, hair, nails, head, neck, cranial nerves

eyes, ears, nose, mouth, throat, sinuses

what is the assessment exam over? any particular body system, or assessment style? there are links to assessment web sites on

https://allnurses.com/forums/f205/health-assessment-resources-techniques-forms-145091.html - health assessment resources, techniques, and forms (in nursing student assistance forum). i have links to help with gordon's 11 functional needs as well if you are having to learn to assess by that system.

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

i post the steps of the nursing process in threads about care plan questions all the time. the nursing process is nursing's take on the scientific process. a care plan also follows the 5 steps:

the steps of the nursing process (written care plan)

  1. assessment (collect data)
  2. nursing diagnosis/analysis (group your assessment data, shop and match your abnormal assessment data to likely nursing diagnoses, decide on the nursing diagnosis to use)
  3. planning (write measurable goals/outcomes and nursing interventions)
  4. implementation (initiate the care plan)
  5. evaluation (determine if goals/outcomes have been met)

assessment is the first step. i think it is one of the most important. you have to collect data before you can analyze it and determine what, if any, problems you have. the styles of assessment vary. the interview and physical exam are the most common methods used. if you go through patient charts you will see doctors using the approach of doing a (1) review of systems which includes an extensive history and (2) a physical examination by body systems. in nursing, there are several models that nurses may be asked to follow. some nursing programs want students to assess patient using gordon's 11 functional health needs. others use a head to toe and adl assessment approach. others might use a modified gordon's assessment. in the end, however, they all are attempting to elicit the same information about the patient. they are just organizing it in a different format. you can see some online information on interviewing and health history for medical students, as well as how to assess the areas your exam is covering on this website: http://medicine.ucsd.edu/clinicalmed/introduction.htm and this web page talks about taking a history from a patient: http://www.childbirths.com/euniversity/taking%20history.htm

the notebook that i still have from the assessment course i took in my bsn program has this thumbnail notation on history taking:

the present illness includes onset of problem, duration, location, severity, presence or absence of pain, the characteristics of the pain, any radiation of the pain to other areas of the body, associated problems that developed before, during or after onset of present illness, things that made the problem better or worse, prior episode and how they were treated, the patients personal view of the cause of the problems, the patient's knowledge of treatment plan, agreement with it, the effect of the illness on the family, any treatment for chronic illness and anyone else in the home who has the same problem. history also includes past health history (date of last physical exam or doctor's visit, permanent disabilities, major health problems in the past such as surgeries, accidents and the dates, exposure to chemicals, air/water/noise pollution, excessive exposure to coal or x-rays, pregnancies, number of children and any ob/gyn problems). also part of the history are allergies to medicines, foods, animals, fur, pollens or anesthetic agents, childhood diseases, dates and type of immunizations received, hobbies and habits. habits include such things as smoking (note onset, amount and date stopped), chewing of tobacco, use of street, prescribed or otc drugs, alcohol use (note kind, amount, frequency and frequency of the alcohol problem), diet (what the daily diet consists of, food dislikes, amount of coffee consumed daily, any vitamin use and amounts, use of salt), frequency and type of exercise, and very important is their ability to carry out the activities of daily living (adls). family history includes age and health status of parents, grandparents and siblings, dates and cause of deaths of same, any disease that run in the family and the age and health status of spouse and children.

there are 4 major examination techniques:

  1. inspection – your observations with your eyes
  2. palpation – what you observe and determine from touching the patient. there is light, deep and bimanual palpation
  3. percussion – the tapping or striking of the skin surface to elicit sound, reflexes and detect masses. there are 5 sounds of percussion that are elicited through direct, indirect or blunt percussion:

[*]auscultation – is listening to the sounds produced by the internal body structures

some of the equipment used in examination are the stethoscope, thermometers, sphygmomanometer (b/p cuff), otoscope, ophthalmoscope and pulse oximeter.

with the assessment of the cranial nerves keep in mind that there are different little tests that are done to assess each cranial nerve. you might want to put them on flash cards to keep them straight. these are the little tests we were advised to do for the cranial nerves that i have from my class notes:

  • #1 – identify odors
  • #2 – ability to read/see, peripheral vision of each eye
  • #3, 4, and 6 – eoms (extra ocular movements—look up, look down and around, perrla and the red reflex)
  • #5 – clench the teeth and note symmetry, corneal reflex
  • #7 – smile, puff out cheeks, close eyes tightly, wrinkle forehead
  • #8 – the ear—rinne, weber and romberg tests
  • #9, 10, and 12 – mouth and throat—position of the uvula, gag reflex, stick out the tongue, tongue strength
  • #11 – the neck – shrug shoulders, ability to turn the face and head to the side

was there anything in particular that you were having difficulty with?

Not as yet. I plan on start reviewing tomorrow. I will be sure to ask if I do.

Once again.

Thank you !

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