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Physiological Changes and Assessment of the Older Adult Part 2

presented by Constance Sheets, DNP, RN, GCNS-BC

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Financial: Constance Sheets receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course. Non-Financial: Constance Sheets has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Video Runtime: 101 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 39 Minutes

Individuals 85 years of age and older are one of the fastest growing segments of the US population (US Census Bureau, 2010). Growth in this age bracket, coupled with the already growing number of individuals 65 and older, will lead to a tremendous need for nurses to provide specialized physical and comprehensive assessments. These assessments will need to account for chronic illness and age-related physiological changes to prevent complications and improve well-being. Age-related changes in health are most pronounced in those over 85; therefore, astute assessment skills are imperative. Providing a systematic approach to the assessment will cover all essential aspects and give the opportunity to develop appropriate interventions. This course will provide the nurse with skills and techniques on how to provide a head-to-toe physical assessment of the older adult. Other dimensions in providing a comprehensive evaluation of the older adult will also be mentioned.

Meet Your Instructor

Constance Sheets, DNP, RN, GCNS-BC

Dr. Sheets has taught in the undergraduate nursing program at Valparaiso University since 2004. She is certified in gerontology and has an extensive home health background. She has co--authored articles that have been published in Rehabilitation Nursing and Nursing Education Perspectives, and has been a content reviewer for a gerontological nursing textbook. Professor Sheets has…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Physical Assessment Part One: Head, Eyes, Ears, Nose, Mouth, Throat, Lungs, and Upper Extremities

Performing a thorough physical assessment of the older adult is imperative to ward off complications and provide interventions that improve quality of life. Having a basic knowledge of common chronic illnesses and age-related changes also plays an essential role in the physical exam. This chapter will provide a demonstration of how to give an assessment of the top half of the body, including head, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, throat, lungs, and upper extremities of the older adult. Common age-related factors and chronic illness related to each body system will also be mentioned to help the nurse differentiate normal from abnormal findings in order to provide appropriate interventions.

2. Physical Assessment Part Two: Heart, Abdomen, Lower Extremities, and Neurological Systems

Performing a thorough physical assessment of the older adult is imperative to ward off complications and provide interventions that improve quality of life. Having a basic knowledge of common chronic illnesses and age-related changes also plays an essential role in the physical exam. This chapter will provide a demonstration of how to give an assessment of the older adult for the bottom half of the body, including the heart, abdomen, lower extremities, and neurological systems. Common age-related factors and chronic illness related to each body system will also be mentioned to help the nurse differentiate normal from abnormal findings in order to provide appropriate interventions.

3. Comprehensive Assessment Items

Performing a head-to-toe physical exam is an important aspect of decreasing complications and improving the well-being for the older adult. In addition, providing a comprehensive assessment can assist the nurse in gathering more information that is imperative to the holistic care of the older adult. In this chapter, comprehensive assessments for factors such as functional status, pain, spirituality, cognition, and psychological condition will be identified.

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