Lots of non-nursing students have the mistaken notion that nursing students do not have to write a lot. After all, they spend their time in biology and chemistry labs and do field experiences. Actually, there is a long history of writing for such students:
- They must learn how to write a nursing entrance essay, because no one can get into nursing school without one. They often struggle with these, do some research and look for tips on writing a nursing school admission essay.
- If these students are looking of financial aid, the may indeed have to compose an amazing nursing scholarship essay
- Many courses in medical fields require essays, research papers, lab reports and more. And many of them are really challenging because they are all on scientific topics and often involve some lab research. A typical medical school essay, for example will involve research of existing literature and the setting up of a study based upon that literature.
Writing a Nursing Essay
Nursing students will find that a basic essay assignment will have the same structure as essays they have written for non-medical courses – introduction, body, and conclusion. The one thing that may differ in the essay writing process may be the formatting. It is common for Harvard formatting to be required in medical programs, so students will want to research Harvard strategies for essay writing. The “rules” are definitely a bit different.
The other caveat in all of this is that medical students’ essays do regularly involve some lab research that the student has conducted. In these cases, the conclusion will be a bit different from that of another type of essay. Often, the conclusion must speak to the significance of the results of a study. Learning how to write a conclusion for a nursing essay can be a bit challenging and will take some practice.
Writing That Nursing Case Study Essay
It is inevitable. As nursing students move into their upper level coursework, they will be spending far more time in hospitals completing lots of field experience. And there is coursework associated with those practicums. Part of that coursework will involve one or more case study essays. These are different from any other writing assignments you have had in the past. Let’s look at how a case study is structured – while specific department guidelines may vary a bit, the elements will be common.
What is a Case Study?
A nursing case study is an in-depth study of a patient that is encountered during the student’s daily practice in a practicum. They are important learning experiences because the student can apply classroom/theoretical learning to an actual situation and perhaps make some conclusions and recommendations. It will require lots of planning of methodology, literature reviews, and careful documentation as the case study proceeds.
Sections of a Case Study
There are three large sections – Information about the Patient; The Nurse’s Assessment of the Patient’s Status; and the Treatment Plan, along with Recommendations. Within each large section there are sub-sections.
Section 1 – Patient Status
This section includes demographic information, the patient’s medical history, and the current patient’s diagnosis, condition, and treatment.
Here you will obviously speak about the patient – and you will commit all of this information to writing. Do not rely on your memory – write everything down. You will also need to explain why the information is important to include in your study. You will need to include the reasons why the patient sought medical care and make note of the first symptoms the patient experienced. Next, you will identify the subsequent diagnosis that was made.
Given the diagnosis, what is the process/progression of the disease? You should include its causes, the symptoms, what you have observed. Describe what your role as a nurse will be.
Section 2 – Nursing Assessment
You will need to prepare your own assessment of the patient’s condition. And as you produce that assessment, be certain to explain why you have made each assessment. For example, suppose a patient has a diagnosis of cancer. One of the symptom presentations is difficulty in urination. You will need to document that urination issue and suggest potential causes of it. Then you will need to come up with options for treatment based upon the potential causes. And, in this case, how will you determine the cause of the issue?
Section 3 – The Current Treatment and Recommendations for Improving It
Describe the treatment – medication, therapy, etc. and explain why each treatment is appropriate for the disease. You will also need to discuss how the treatment plan is improving the patient’s quality of life.
What are the treatment goals? What are the benchmarks for assessing success and how, specifically, will it be documented?
The Implementation and Documentation
Once the treatment has been implemented, it will be your job to document each treatment activity – time, dose, etc. – and then track the improvement that does or does not occur. Suppose, for example, that you begin a regimen of a diuretic for your cancer patient. How will you determine success? How long will you implement the treatment to determine success or not? And if it is not successful, what is your next treatment option?
The data you gather must be carefully recorded and then reported in this section of your case study. This is the same as any scientific study. You must also analyze the data before you make decisions about the efficacy of the treatment plan and come to conclusions.
Toward the end of this section, you will be making recommendations – they may be simply to continue the current treatment plan; you may have conducted some research that shows another or an additional treatment plan is warranted. In this case, you may very well recommend this new treatment plan. Just remember, you must justify any recommendation you make, and usually this comes from medical research literature.
Crafting a nursing case study really has two major tasks.
- First, you select a patient, and begin to collect history. You also set up treatment plans and collect data to determine the efficacy of the plan and then determine your recommendations.
- Second, you actually have to write up the final piece. And it must be impeccably written.
If you have concerns about your writing skills, consider finding an essay writing service nursing department. While there are lots of writing services out there, you want one that has a specific group of researchers and writers with experience in producing medical case studies. You may even find a specific nursing essay writing service UK that exists only for helping medical program students. Such experts will be familiar with the style, tone, formatting, and terminology and can make quick work of your write-up.
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Nursing Case Study
D.M, a sixty year old male has been admitted with a chief complaint being dizziness and difficulty walking up the stairs. He has been lethargic for the past two weeks and falling four times during the same period. Furthermore, he has been lightheaded and even lost strength before falling. A close look at his medical history reveals that he has Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, pneumonia back in 2000, Osteoarthritis of the spine and hip, and Cerebrovascular accident in 1999. In his social life, he takes four to five beers as the main alcoholic beverage.
He is a retired salesman whose wife is deceased. His family comprises of four children who live and work in other states. He does not smoke and furthermore, no known allergies to the medication administered. From the physical examination results, he has no distress with the body temperature being 98.6 Fahrenheit. He has a high blood pressure of 164/96 while sitting and 152/88 while standing. The patient weighs 172 kilograms. HEENT analysis reveals that he has pale conjunctivae and gums. Cardiovascular analysis reveals systolic ejection murmur.
The prostate gland is enlarged due to palpation with neuronal analysis indicating that he has slow response rate to questions. Peripheral vascular analysis shows that the patient has pedal edema with capillary refill. He has tachycardia with laboratory analysis conducted showing that he is hyperglycemic (189mg/dL). The levels of alanine aminotransferase are low. Aspartate Aminotransferase levels are also low with high levels of cholesterol (267 mg/dL). He has high levels of Thyroid stimulating hormone recording at 12.3 mlU/L with poor levels of Hemoglobin (7.2 g/dL). Hematocrit analysis results are below par at 24 percent. Red Cell Distribution width is very high at 17 fL.
The recommended iron studies reveal very low levels of serum iron, ferritin and high Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC). TIBC is higher than the recommended levels when the iron levels in the body a low. Higher than the average levels of TIBC reveals that the patient is anemic (Rolfes, Pinna, Whitney, & Rolfes, 2012). From laboratory results given and the medical profile of G.M, it is clear that the patient is anemic. Lack of energy and fainting could be due to poor transportation of oxygen in the body resulting in hypoxia (Edmunds & Mayhew, 2013). Furthermore, D.M is diabetic as shown by high levels of blood glucose.
Patients with pedal edema are inappropriately diagnosed with heart failure. It is clear that D.M has hyperlipidemia which could contribute to deep vein thrombosis (DVT) a major cause of pedal edema (Edmunds & Mayhew, 2013). Systolic ejection murmur as diagnosed for D.M arises from obstruction of blood flow or in situations when the patients suffers from anemia, hyperthyroidism or pregnancy (Anderson & McLaren, 2012).
D.M is hypertensive due to the high levels of cholesterol deposited in the arteries along with calcium forming a plaque (Anderson & McLaren, 2012). He experiences the tachycardia which means that the blood has to beat fast to pump the blood. High levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone indicates that the patient suffers from hyperthyroidism (Edmunds & Mayhew, 2013). Cerebrovascular accident or stroke arises from thrombosis in the coronary artery supplying oxygenated blood to the brain. D.M suffered from the stroke several years ago an indication of elevated levels of cholesterol together with other factors (Edmunds & Mayhew, 2013).
The medical profile of D.M is complicated revealing multiple conditions affecting the patient. The patient has hypercholesterolemia and hyperlipidemia that can be explained from lifestyle choices. Furthermore, he is diabetic as shown by elevated blood sugar level. In addition, blood tests reveal that he has hypochromic and microcytic anemia. The medications taken by the patient have been used for the treatment of the conditions (Edmunds & Mayhew, 2013). Glyburide is a drug taken orally for controlling blood sugar levels. Metformin is an anti-diabetic drug which unlike the sulfonylurea class of drugs such as glyburide does not increase the insulin levels in the blood. Paravachol (paravastatin) belong to statin class of drugs used in the treatment of elevated levels of lipids in the body (Rolfes, Pinna, Whitney, & Rolfes, 2012). D.M is suffering from hyperlipidemia or hypercholesterolemia. It has inhibitory effects on HMG CoA reductase, the rate controlling enzyme in the pathway leading to the generation of cholesterol.
Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) acts as a thiazide diuretic used in the treatment of fluid retention. This medication finds great relevance in the case of D.M, who is both hypertensive and suffers from edema (Rolfes, Pinna, Whitney, & Rolfes, 2012). Atenolol is a beta-adrenergic blocker which has its effects on adrenaline and epinephrine. Beta-adrenergic stimulation increases heartbeat. By blocking this stimulatory pathway, the drug helps in the treatment of tachycardia thus lowering the high blood pressure.
Angina pectoris arises when the oxygen demands of the heart exceeds the supply. By lowering the rapid heart rates, the drug helps in treating chest pain. Naproxen belongs to the NSAIDS class of drugs and work by reducing the levels of prostaglandin in the blood through inhibitory effects on cyclooxygenase (Edmunds & Mayhew, 2013). D.M suffers from osteoarthritis of the lumbosacral spine and the hip the reason explaining for administration of this drug. Aspirin another NSAIDS is a pain reliever that has been administered to treat arthritis in the case of D.M.
Follow up Plan
Despite the worsening medical condition of D.M, he takes four to five beers on a daily basis. Reducing the severity of the conditions faced by the D.M would necessitate abhorring the intake of alcoholic drinks taken by D.M or even complete cessation (Edmunds & Mayhew, 2013). Studies reveal that drinking of alcohol remains to be a risk factor contributing to increased levels of cholesterol and lipids in the body. Preventing the progression of the various states experienced by D.M would require use of two approaches i.e. lifestyle modification and dietary management (Rolfes, Pinna, Whitney, & Rolfes, 2012).
• Avoid drinking of alcohol a risk factor associated with hypercholesterolemia and cardiovascular heart disease.
• Get involved in a regular physical activity and exercise program; the rationale in this program is to increase energy expenditure and thus lower the blood sugar levels and by extension help in management of weight.
• D.M should limit the use of food that is high in fat and cholesterol.
• Due to the problem of osteoarthritis, he should avoid consumption of organ meat that is high in purine and pyrimidine, red meat and dairy products rich in saturated animal fat.
• He should limit heavy intake of processed food that has high levels of salt.
• In the diet plan, he should include intake of grains, pulses, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat milk.
• The diet should be balanced and in right proportions per meal. He should eat less before going to sleep.
• To bring back the iron levels to normal he should eat food that is rich in iron. This will help in controlling anemia through dietary management. Such food includes kidney beans, lentils, fresh spinach, oatmeal, white meat such as turkey meat.
Medical management will help in supplementing the dietary choices and lifestyle modification.
• The patient should continue using the medications as already indicated with alterations necessary in case of adverse reactions.
• In addition, the patient needs to take iron supplements to replace the low levels of iron in the blood.
• D.M should constantly monitor his health status through lipid profile and measurement of blood sugar levels among other parameters such as Blood Pressure.
Anderson, G. J., & McLaren, G. D. (2012). Iron physiology and pathophysiology in humans. New York: Humana Press.
Edmunds, M. W., & Mayhew, M. S. (2013). Pharmacology for the primary care provider. St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier-Mosby.
Rolfes, S. R., Pinna, K., Whitney, E. N., & Rolfes, S. R. (2012). Normal and clinical nutrition. Pacific Grove, Calif: Brooks/Cole.