Health Assessment

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Health Assessment (HA)

Health Assessment (HA) is a procedure that assists medical practitioners to analyze a patient's problems. The practitioners may decide to perform a physical examination on the patients to assess their medical needs. However, the practitioner has to investigate the patient's medical history before recommending the examination. There are instances that the practitioner can interrogate the family members to shed more light on the patient's condition. The information derived from the processes dictates the methodology of addressing the patients' challenges.

Importance of Health Assessment

HA is a crucial aspect in assisting healthcare personnel in delivering holistic care. For instance, it evaluates the nature of the problem facing the patient (HSJ, n.d). The challenge may be medical, psychological or social. The process involves investigation of the cause of the problem. After that, it helps in preparing subsequent treatment stages for the patient (HSJ, n.d). Moreover, it guarantees that the patient is recovering from the disease. It is unethical to recommend medication without enough assessment of the patient.

Components of Health Assessment

The HA has numerous components that interest the health care provider. The inspection phase will comprise of examination of the body parts (Chemocare, n.d). For instance, the provider may check for swollen tissues or bruises. The movement of blood may also be of interest. Therefore, he will check the veins to see whether they are swollen. The second component is palpation which mainly relies on the sense of touch. Thus, the provider checks the body for lumps or masses that might suggest the prevalence of certain diseases (Chemocare, n.d). The body parts which the personnel may check are the chest, abdomen and lymph nodes.

Percussion is the third component which mainly comprises of tapping on specific body parts. The exercise produces varying sounds which could lead to some information about the patient's health condition (Salmon, Maryniak & Constantine, 2014). There is the Auscultation phase that assists the personnel to listen to the functioning of specific parts. Thus, with the help of a stethoscope, the provider listens to the lungs, heart, and abdomen. The procedure requires silent conditions to ensure the doctor gets the right results (Birks, at al. 2014). Eventually, there is the neurologic examination that may be in-depth or just brief. The health condition of the patient determines its extent. The neurologic check-up has four main components which the personnel may choose to investigate (Birks, at al. 2014). They are the cranial nerve, motor, sensory and reflexes.

Purpose of Health Assessment

The purpose of an HA relies on the clinician's reasoning. The clinician may request for a history assessment of the patient to determine the previous medical conditions (Adib-Hajbaghery & Safa, 2013). The strategy assists in decision making since there is a possibility of recurrence of certain diseases. The policy also poses an analytical approach to the personnel (Gummesson & Fex, 2018). The medical service provider may also be able to identify a pattern in the occurrence of the illnesses.

There are instances that doctors check on the respiratory systems. The purpose of the check-up is to determine the presence or absence of blockage in the air tubes (Adib-Hajbaghery & Safa, 2013). The strategy focuses on the diagnostic approach to determine the cause of a problem. It can assist the medical personnel to compare the patient's history to the pumping of the lungs (Gummesson, Sunden & Fex, 2018). Eventually, the patient may be discharged or undergo other examinations to assist in medication.

Previous studies claim that the medical practitioner examines the skin of the patients as much as they investigate their medical history. The assessments help in determining the dehydration rate of the patients (Adib-Hajbaghery & Safa, 2013). However, it also increases the scaffolding ability of the personnel. Eventually, they get more competencies in their practice (Gummesson & Fex, 2018). The reason being the information amassed helps them to think professionally about the appropriate steps to cure the patient.

Approaches in Health Assessment

Medical practitioners have the ability to decide which approach to treating the patients. Thus, given that an adult presents himself to the outpatient for a day check-up, the personnel can select the procedure to apply (Seligman, 2016). However, he must have confidence in his decisions to ensure he makes the appropriate choice. For instance, the practitioner can ask the patient about his condition then and before the current illness. After that, since the doctor has gotten trust from the patient, he can proceed and feel the parts which are troubling the patient. However, to collect more information, the doctor can tap the parts to determine the extent of the damage (Seligman, 2016). Eventually, the doctor can recommend a neurological examination to ensure the patient gets full medical attention.

On the contrary, the doctor may interrogate the patient on his medical history. The doctor can also focus on the behavior of the adult. For example, smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. Moreover, an investigation of the patient's career can reveal possible health hazards in the workplace. Eventually, the doctor will carry out examination based on the medical history and behavior of the patient. The adult may hide some information from the doctor to avoid criticism. Therefore, the test either confirms or negates the adult's version of his behavior (Zambas, Smythe & Koziol-Mclain, 2016).

The doctor may also receive an elderly coming for regular check-ups that occur annually. The personnel can first review the medical records of the patient. The patient may be in the escort of a family member if his health condition has worsened (Seligman, 2016). Therefore, the doctor can interrogate the family member on the health of the patient. After that, the doctor can check the progress of the illness depends on the records and information from the family member (Seligman, 2016). Some of the essential tests would be blood sample test and heartbeat test to determine the blood pressure of the patient.

Alternatively, it is essential to note that the patient is an elderly adult. Therefore, tests on motor functioning would be appropriate to ensure the patient does not have mobility issues after the discharge (Banerjee & Nikumb, 2013). The muscles strength and their ability to coordinate need examination for such patients. Moreover, the patient may be susceptible to or already suffering from diabetes and other chronic illnesses. Therefore, the doctor can undertake palpation and percussion on the tissues likely to exhibit signs of the diseases (Banerjee & Nikumb, 2013). Eventually, a neurological examination would be advisable to focus on aspects such as nerve activity.


Health assessment assists patients to receive the appropriate medication. It also facilitates the medical practitioners to sharpen their skills in the medical field. That is, the interaction between them and the patients helps them apply the skills taught in school. They also learn about the problems affecting the community and introduce strategies to solve the menace. The study has discovered that the medical personnel can apply different approaches to treat the patients. However, regardless of the procedure, they cannot overlook the patient's medical history. The medical environment has the ability to be dynamic, and this necessitates them to apply multiple strategies to respond to the changing circumstances.


Adib-Hajbaghery, M. & Safa, A. (2013). Nurses' Evaluation of Their Use and Mastery in Health Assessment Skills: Selected Iran's Hospitals. 2(3). Pg. 39–43. PubMed Central Journal. Retrieved from

Banerjee, T. & Nikumb, V. (2013). Health Problems among the Elderly: A Cross-Sectional Study. PubMed Central Journal. 3(1). Pg. 19–25. Retrieved from  DOI 10.4103/2141-9248.109466

Chemocare Organization. (n.d). The Physical Examination and Health Assessment. Retrieved from

Gummesson, C., Sundén, A.  & Fex, A. (2018). Clinical reasoning as a conceptual framework for inter-professional learning: a literature review and a case study. Tandfonline Journal. 23(1). Pg. 29-34. Retrieved from DOI;

Health Science Journal. (n.d). Health Assessment. Retrieved from

Melanie Birks, M., James, A., Chung, C., Cant, R.  & Davis, J. (2014). The teaching of physical assessment skills in pre-registration nursing programmes in Australia: Issues for nursing education. Collegian Journal. 21(3). Pg. 245-253. Retrieved from DOI;

Salmon, N., Maryniak, K. & Constantine, L. (2014). Overview of Nursing Health Assessment. AMN Healthcare in association. Retrieved from

Seligman, K. (2016). 8 Steps to Guide Your Community Health Needs Assessment. Hospitals and Health Networks Website. Retrieved from

Zambas, S., Smythe, E. & Koziol-Mclain, J. (2016). The consequences of using advanced physical assessment skills in medical and surgical nursing: A pragmatic hermeneutic study. PubMed Central Journal. Volume 11. Retrieved from DOI; 10.3402/qhw.v11.32090

October 13, 2023

Health Science


Illness Medicine

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