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Health Assessment

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Health Assessment
Comprehensive Health Assessment
Health assessment is the first step in the nursing process. The purpose of a health assessment is to collect information on patient 's health status, obtain baseline information, support system at home, evaluate patient environment, to discover the actual problem, and assess factors that place the patient at increased risk for health problems. Mosby medical dictionary describe health assessment as “an evaluation of the health status of an individual by performing a physical examination after obtaining a health history. Various laboratory tests will be ordered to confirm a clinical impression or to screen for dysfunction. The depth of investigation and the frequency of the assessment vary with the condition and age of the client and the facility in which the assessment is performed. The person 's response to any dysfunction present is observed and noted.” (Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier).
When collecting information for a comprehensive assessment, nurses use both subjective and objective data. Nurses use several different sources to obtain information by means of observation, lab values, vital signs, chart review, other health care professionals and most important the patient or family members. Patients and family provide very useful information such as current medication, past surgical and medical history, cultural beliefs and any other prudent information related to patient care. By collecting the information it gives nurses a chance to familiar themselves with individual culture beliefs and form a treatment plan that includes cultural information to care for each individual patient to aid in providing the appropriate care.
Certain conditions appear to be more prevalent in different cultures. In the African American culture, there are several high-risk health factors, which include cardiovascular disease, hypertension, elevated cholesterol levels, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and stroke. Due to their



References: Black, D Y (2003) Racial identity, spirituality and health attitudes among African Americans. MA thesis. Central Connecticut State University. New Britain, Connecticut. http://fred.ccsu.edu:8000/archive/00000110/02/etd-2004-1.pdf. http://www.ehow.com/info_8216370_contributing-poor-health-african-americans.html#ixzz1itZ9Lf4z Giger, J. N., & Davidhizar, R. E. (2008). Transcultural nursing: Assessment and intervention (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier. Kaplan University (2011) Kaplan University (2011). Virtual family. Retrieved December 30, 2011, from http://kucampus.kaplan.edu Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier

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