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Health Assessment & Physical Examination


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Health Assessment & Physical Examination

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Health Assessment and Physical Examination is designed to teach students to assess a patient’s physical, psychological, cultural and emotional dimensions of health as a foundation of nursing care. The skills of interviewing, inspection, percussion, palpation, auscultation, and documentation are refined to help students to make clinical judgments and promote healthy patient outcomes. A strong emphasis on science encompasses all the technical aspects of anatomy, physiology, and assessment, while highlighting clinically relevant information. Emphasis on caring is displayed through themes of assessment of the whole person, which also encourages nurses to think about care for themselves as well as patients.


    UNIT 1: Laying the foundation
  • Critical thinking and nursing process as a basis for clinical decisions
  • Patient interview
  • Complete health history including documentation
  • Physical assessment techniques
  • Cultural and spiritual assessment.
    UNIT 2: Physical examination
  • Examination requirements for every patient
  • Mental status and neurological
  • Skin, hair, nails
  • Head, neck, regional lymphatics
  • Eyes
  • Ears, nose, mouth and throat
  • Breast and regional nodes
  • Thorax and lungs
  • Heart and blood vessels
  • Abdomen and Nutrition
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Female genitalia
  • Male genitalia
  • Anus, rectum and prostate
    UNIT 3: Specific Lifespan Populations
  • The pregnant patient
  • The paediatric patient
  • The older adult
    UNIT 4: Putting it all together
  • The complete health history and physical examination

    Assessment in Brief – Tear out cards

About the Authors:

Mary Ellen Zator Estes

Mary Ellen Zator Estes is an RN, MSN, FNP-BC, NP-C Family Nurse Practitioner in Internal Medicine, in Fairfax, Virginia and Nursing Consultant, Vienna, Virginia. Mary Ellen Zator Estes obtained her baccalaureate and Master's degrees in nursing and her Family Nurse Practitioner certificate from the University of Virginia. She has taught at the University of Virginia, Marymount University, Northern Virginia Community College, and The George Washington University Medical Center. She has also served as Clinical Faculty for Ball State University. With over 25 years' experience as a clinician and academician, Ms. Estes has taught health assessment and physical examination courses to nurses and nursing students from a variety of backgrounds. Her hands-on approach in the classroom, clinical laboratory, and health care setting has consistently led to positive learning experiences for her students. Ms. Estes' professional development is well demonstrated at the local, regional, and national levels. She has delivered numerous presentations through- out the country. She has been an active member of the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Sigma Theta Tau, American Association of Critical Care Nurses, American Nurses Association, and Virginia Nurses Association. Ms. Estes has been listed in Who's Who in American Nursing and Who's Who in American Education. She is currently a nurse practitioner at an internal medi-cine practice in Fairfax, Virginia, and a Nursing Consultant.

Pauline Calleja

Pauline’s nursing background has spanned many specialty areas over the past 18 years and included teaching students health assessment, physical examination and clinical reasoning in clinical and academic settings. Her experiences in special projects include teaching Indigenous Primary healthcare workers, developing capacity for clinical teaching in Vietnam and developing leadership skills in Australian clinical teachers. Pauline has taught at Queensland University of Technology, University of the Sunshine Coast, James Cook University and within various clinical and vocational education settings. Professional associations include College of Emergency Nursing Australasia, Australian Society for Simulation in Health Care and the Royal College of Nursing Australia.

Karen Theobald

Karen has over 25 years of nursing clinical and education experience. The majority of Karen’s teaching is in the areas of health assessment; acute care nursing; advanced life support; and supporting clinical teaching of students by clinical staff. Karen has spent the greater part of her teaching time in various roles at Queensland University of Technology and has undertaken teaching in hospital settings as well as supervision of higher degree research students. She has a close association with professional organisations such as the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses and the Australian Resuscitation Council (Queensland Branch).

Theresa Harvey

Theresa has over 30 years of clinical and nursing education experience. Her clinical experiences incorporate various nursing and midwifery practice. In recent years her education focus has been teaching health assessment and physical examination in undergraduate programs and supporting students’ clinical learning in their transition to practice. Theresa has had a large role in development of clinical teachers to support students on practicum both in Australia and Viet Nam. Theresa has taught at Queensland University of Technology, Australia Catholic University (Brisbane), and Northern Sydney Area Midwifery School / Ryde Hospital. Professional associations include Australian Society for Simulation in Health Care and Theresa is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing Australia.

New to Edition

  • NEW ‘Putting it in Context' boxes give students a better understanding of the application of health assessment and physical examination theory in different clinical situations they may encounter in the real world
  • Go online margin notes guide students to useful online resources for further study and revision.
  • Enhanced text design for easier student navigation and identification of the urgent findings or red flags that they must be aware of in critical situations in the clinical environment
  • Extended access to the online student resources including the CourseMate Express study guide resources and SearchMe! Nursing database to allow students to continue to use this critical resource throughout their nursing studies.


LocationEstimated Delivery Time
Metro Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane & Canberra areas 2-4 business days
Metro Adelaide, Hobart and Perth areas 4-6 business days
Country areas 3-6 business days
Remote areas 7+ business days

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