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NURS 6512 Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions

NURS 6512 Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions


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Properly identifying the cause and type of a patient’s skin condition involves a process of elimination known as differential diagnosis. Using this process, a health professional can take a given set of physical abnormalities, vital signs, health assessment findings, and patient descriptions of symptoms, and incrementally narrow them down until one diagnosis is determined as the most likely cause.

In this Lab Assignment, you will examine several visual representations of various skin conditions, describe your observations, and use the techniques of differential diagnosis to determine the most likely condition.

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.

NURS 6512 Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions

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.
    NURS 6512 Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions

    NURS 6512 Differential Diagnosis for Skin Conditions

  • 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 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 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 Submitbutton 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


Physical Exam:
Vital signs: Patients blood pressure measured on the right arm was 144/81, Temperature
is 97.7 degree Fahrenheit, Pulse is 72bpm, Respiration is 17c/m, Weight is 179 pounds,
height is 5 feet 6 inches and a calculated BMI of 28.9.
General: Ms. Caroline came in alert and oriented to time and place. The vital signs
showed that the patient is overweight with a BMI of 28.9 and blood pressure is elevated.

© 2021 Walden University Page 6 of 8
HEENT: On examination of the hair, there were presence of dandruff on the scalp.No
inflammation noted on the tonsil and no tenderness noted at the temporomandibular joint. The
pupils were equal, round, reactive to light. No discharges noted from ears.
Neck: There was normal range of motion, and no distended juggler vein noted.
Chest/Lungs: The trunk was clear. The intercostal movements were nornmal.no
abnormal breath sounds like wheezes. Respiration rate of 18 b/min.
Heart/Peripheral Vascular: On auscultation, the S1 and S2 heart sounds were present
and heart rate was within normal limits of 72bpm.
Abdomen: There was positive fetal heart rate of about 128b/m and thee were marked
indented streaks on the abdominal wall.
Genital/Rectal: The vagina was free from any signs of infection, nil swelling,
discharge or inflammation noted during assessment of the genitalia.
Musculoskeletal: There are no muscle or joint pains noted and there is full range of
motion with no limitation.
Neurological: Mrs Caroline is oriented to time, place and person. Patient scored high on
assessment of mental status. The mental assessment shows patient has memory intact both recent
and past events.
Skin: Patients skin is warm to touch with a temperature of 97.8, nil discoloration noted
except the indented stretch marks on the abdominal wall

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