How to write a Differentiating Comprehensive and Focused Exam nursing essay (Solved)

How to write a Differentiating Comprehensive and Focused Exam nursing essay (Solved)

Explain the difference between a comprehensive and a focused health assessment.

A comprehensive health assessment evaluates the patient’s overall physical and mental health. It includes gathering a complete medical history, performing a physical exam, and performing laboratory or other tests as needed. It is usually done with a new patient to establish a baseline for their health.

A focused health assessment is more specific when the healthcare provider needs to assess a patient’s condition in a particular disorder or disease. It can be done as a follow-up to a comprehensive or stand-alone assessment. It is more focused on the symptoms and diagnosis of that particular condition. Depending on the condition, it may include a physical exam, laboratory tests, and other tests.

Explain how you determine when to perform a comprehensive versus focused health assessment.

A comprehensive health assessment is a complete physical examination typically performed on a patient with no known medical problems. It includes examining the patient’s medical history, physical examination, laboratory tests, and imaging studies. A focused health assessment is a more targeted physical examination typically performed on a patient with a specific medical problem or complaint (Smith, 2020). It is focused on the area or organ system associated with the problem or complaint and may include laboratory tests and imaging studies. The decision to perform a comprehensive or focused health assessment depends on the patient’s medical history, the presenting complaint, and the clinical assessment of the healthcare provider. The healthcare provider may recommend a comprehensive health assessment if the patient has no known medical problems. The healthcare provider may recommend a focused health assessment if the patient has a specific medical problem or complaint.

Explain the differences between subjective and objective data. Provide an example of each

Subjective data is based on opinions, feeling, or personal beliefs obtained from the patient or family members and can provide important cues about functioning and unmet needs requiring assistance. Example of subjective data in health care includes a patient’s pain level and their descriptions of symptoms. Objective data is data that is based on facts and is verifiable and measurable. An example of objective data is temperature is a perfect example of objective data. A person’s temperature can be gathered using a thermometer (Gardner, 2017).

List the components of performing a comprehensive patient health assessment.

  • Obtaining a patient’s health history
  • Physical examination
  • Assessing the patient’s overall health
  • Reviewing current medications and allergies
  • Reviewing the patient’s immunization status
  • Discussion of any current health concerns
  • Reviewing relevant lifestyle factors
  • Reviewing pertinent laboratory results
  • Performing a psychological assessment
  • Providing appropriate health education and advice

Explain why and how you create a patient-centered problem list

A patient-centered problem list is a tool to help healthcare professionals provide better patient care. It is a list of a patient’s current health issues, updated over time as their condition changes. The list is created by asking the patient about their current health concerns, past medical history, and any medications or treatments they may be taking. The list also includes any lifestyle factors impacting the patient’s health. By creating a patient-centered problem list, healthcare professionals can gain a better understanding of the patient’s health, which can help them create a more effective treatment plan (Gustafson & McCormick, 2017

Explain how you decide clinical diagnostic tests’ validity (sensitivity and specificity).

Sensitivity and specificity are measures of the accuracy of a clinical diagnostic test. Sensitivity is the ability of a test to identify those with the disease correctly, and specificity is the ability to identify those without the disease correctly. The validity of a diagnostic test can be determined by comparing the test results to a known gold standard. A clinical appraisal is a process of critically reviewing and assessing the quality of medical evidence and guideline recommendations to ensure that the best practices are being followed. Guideline recommendations are based on the analysis of current evidence and best practices and are used to inform clinical decision-making.


Smith, A. (2020). Comprehensive vs. Focused Health Assessments. Healthline.

Gardner, K. (2017). Objective Data vs. Subjective Data. Retrieved from

Gustafson, J. K., & McCormick, K. A. (2017). Creating a patient-centered problem list. American Family Physician, 95(3), 178-183.

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