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From the week’s learning materials, I gained a better understanding of common conditions such as coronary artery disease, chest pains, heart failure, infective endocarditis, and pericarditis. I gained significant exposure to CAD and chest pains, especially in regard to the risk factors, diagnostic tests, differential diagnoses, condition management, and referrals. For instance, the notable diagnostics as determined by the conditions’ etiology were ECG, Stress Test, ECHO, Coronary CT Angiography, and Labs such as the CRP, Hgb, Electrolytes, TSH, and Magnesium. Noticeably, the differential diagnoses for CAD and chest pain encompassed (1) Non-emergent causes such as pulmonary, integumentary, gastrointestinal, and psychological disturbances and (2) Life-threatening events such as pulmonary embolus, aortic dissection, and spontaneous pneumothorax.
The week’s learning materials also introduced heart failure, a clinical syndrome characterized by functional or structural abnormalities in the heart that function to impair the heart’s capacity to meet the metabolic requirements and demands of the body due to systolic or diastolic failure (AbdElaal et al., 2022). An in-depth understanding of the various classification of heart failure conditions was also acquired. Notably, the functional classification of heart failure presented the different classes of heart failure, including their corresponding patient symptoms. Additionally, clinical manifestation, diagnostic tests (labs, 12-lead EHK, and chest radiograph), treatment, and management were also explored.
Pericarditis which presents as an inflammation of the pericardial sac, was also explored in week five learning materials (Tejtel et al., 2022). The acute pericarditis lecture presentation explored the pertinent causes, signs, labs, diagnostic tests, and diagnostic criteria. Notably, I acquired new insight into the typical diagnostic criteria of acute pericarditis encompassing chest pat assessment, pericardial friction rub, EKG changes checkups, pericardial effusion, and the associated signs and symptoms.
Conclusively, I must admit that the week 5 lesson was resourceful and expanded my clinical understanding of the various chest and heart conditions. The lesson points out to the critical need to be apprehensive of the various clinical evaluations and diagnostic assessments required for accurate patient diagnosis and treatment. For this, I aim to apply the knowledge gained to my daily clinical practice for enhanced patient satisfaction and improved care outcomes.
AbdElaal, E. M., Abdelall, H. A., Abd-Elhafez, M. N., Abd-Elmohsen, S. A., Abozeid, H. A., & Sobhy Mahmoud, K. M. (2022). Effect of Applying Designed Nursing Guidelines on Health Outcomes among Patients with Heart Failure Class III. Assiut Scientific Nursing Journal, 10(30), 274-287.