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Undergraduate Health Assessment Course Information

Undergraduate health assessment courses are taken as part of a nursing program. The health assessment portion teaches skills such as how to take health histories and give physical examinations.

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Essential Information

Health assessment courses teach students to analyze patients' physical and mental health for the purpose of early disease detection and prevention. In addition to a basic health assessment course, required in most nursing programs, students can also take health assessment courses in various subtopics, such as eye health and cardiovascular assessment.

List of Common Health Assessment Courses

The following health assessment courses are usually part of a nursing program.

Assessment Development Course

This course helps students develop assessment skills, including teaching them how to survey the health beliefs of others. Students learn to ascertain a patient's main medical complaint and to gain past medical history, including family health history. They also learn to create a comfortable interview process.

Assessing Eye Health Course

Students learn to obtain a patient's eye health history. They perform eye examinations and distinguish between abnormal and normal conditions. Students examine the eyes to ensure proper movement, balance and proportion. The patient's pupils and irises are analyzed for any signs of swelling, jaundice or anemia. Color or pattern changes in the eyes are noted. Students may make recommendations on promoting eye health.

Ear Assessment Course

This course covers the examination of the ears. .The ears are tested for hearing, discharge or ringing (tinnitus). Students look for deformities or tenderness in and around the ears. When testing patients for hearing, students must request that patients cover one ear to test the other.

Cardiovascular Assessment Course

Students learn to give complete cardiovascular assessments during this course. Part of the process involves taking a patient's blood pressure and pulse, and listening to the sounds of the heart. Patients are checked for evidence of heart arrhythmia and heart murmurs. Extremities are examined to check the blood flow, as well as to check on the condition of arteries and veins.

Gastrointestinal Assessment Course

Organs such as the stomach, intestines and esophagus are assessed. The patient's abdominal area is examined in four parts for protrusions, concavities, rashes, scars or other irregularities. Stethoscopes are used to listen to the bowels for signs of hyperactivity or diminished activity.

Musculoskeletal Assessment Course

Body symmetry and posture are evaluated in this training course. A patient's muscles, joints and bones are palpated to determine strength and movement. Muscle tone, motor skills, coordination and muscle mass are also observed. Students learn to document any abnormalities.

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