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The Role of Nurses in Health Assessment

Updated April 17, 2017

Health assessments are performed by nurses in a variety of settings, including at health fairs, in the community, and at schools and hospitals. It involves interviewing a patient, inspecting and observing her body and actions, and palpating and percussing parts of her body.

Information

Health assessments are used by nurses to gather information about a patient's condition. This information is used to formulate a nursing plan of care for the patient.

Nursing Diagnoses and Care Planning

A nurse takes note of actual or potential problems her patient may have during a health assessment. From the list of problems, she formulates diagnoses, which she uses to create a care plan.

Managing Problems

The nurse continuously does a health assessment on her patient to see if her care plan is having the desired effect. If not, she makes changes to her care plan to address the patient's health problems.

Evaluation

Evaluation of a patient's health status is done through health assessments. Evaluations determine if a patient has responded to nursing care sufficiently enough to be recommended for discharge.

Discharge Teaching

During a health assessment, a nurse may become aware that a patient is lacking information that may help improve his condition. This provides the nurse with an opportunity to impart this information before he is discharged.

Advocate

When a nurse performs a health assessment, she may find a problem that requires the expertise of other members of the health care team. In this case, the nurse notifies the proper health care team member of the problem and makes sure the patient receives the expert care that they need. Here, she becomes an advocate for her patient.

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About the Author

Ngozi Oguejiofo has been writing on a freelance basis since 2009 and most of her writings are focused on health. She is currently a registered nurse. She is interested in teaching, and writes articles focused on student nurses for various online publications.