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Advanced Nursing Practice (Case Study Sample)

You are doing an eight-week clerkship in a family medicine practice. You review the EMR (electronic medical record) for the next patient, which identifies the patient as Mrs. Gomez, "a 65-year-old female who is here today reporting that she can't sleep." Dr. Lee, your preceptor, fills you in: "Mrs. Gomez has been a patient here for several years. Difficulty sleeping is a new issue for her. Her past medical history is significant for hypertension and diabetes. Generally, she has been doing well, although I notice that her last hemoglobin A1c has climbed to 8.7%." After discussing these potential causes of insomnia with Dr. Lee, you feel prepared to talk with Mrs. Gomez. You knock on the exam room door and enter to find Mrs. Gomez, who is accompanied by her daughter, Silvia. You introduce yourself and ask if you may ask her a few questions, to which she agrees. "What brings you to the clinic today?" "I'm just so tired lately. I just can't seem to sleep." "Tell me more about this." "Well, for the last six months I can't sleep for more than a couple of hours before I wake up," Mrs. Gomez tells you. On further questioning, Mrs. Gomez reports no discomfort such as pain or breathing problems disturbing her sleep. She reports no snoring, apneic spells (a period of time during which breathing stops or is markedly reduced), or physical restlessness during sleep. Her daughter agrees that she has not seen these problems. She rarely consumes alcohol or caffeine. When you ask if anything like noise or an uncomfortable sleeping environment might be bothering her, she replies that this is not a problem - but her daughter interjects: "Yes, in fact Mom's waking up the rest of us, walking around and turning on the TV. My husband and I both work. So we all need our rest. Mom came to live with us last year after Dad passed away. We're her only family around here and we thought we should help her." You tell Mrs. Gomez, "I'm sorry to hear about your husband." "Yes, we were married for 30 years. This has been a difficult time for me." "Do you find that you feel sad most of the time?" "Of course I am sad when I think about my husband and how much I miss him. But I wouldn't say that I'm sad most of the time." Silvia states, "But Mom, you spend most of your time just moping around the house." Turning to you she elaborates, "She seems to be in slow motion most of the time. She doesn't even go to church anymore. She used to go three to four times a week. She used to read all the time, and she doesn't do that anymore either." Mrs. Gomez explains, "I haven't been reading as much as I used to because I can't seem to focus and I end up reading the same page over and over." She goes on to say, "And I don't seem to have any energy to do anything. I'm not even able to help out around the house. I feel bad about that; I should be helping out more. I seem to spend a lot of time just watching TV and eating junk food." You ask, "Have you tried anything to help you sleep?" "Well, I tried Tylenol PM (acetaminophen and diphenhydramine), which didn't help and gave me a dry mouth. I also tried zapote blanco, a kind of Mexican herbal tea. But it didn't help me sleep either." "I'm not familiar with that product, but I'll mention it to Dr. Lee. I'm glad you brought it up. It's important that your doctors know about everything you are taking, whether it's prescription medication or not. I'm sorry nothing seems to be helping you sleep. We'll get to the bottom of this together." You turn your attention to taking Mrs. Gomez's past medical history. You learn: Problem list: • Hypercholesterolemia • Type 2 diabetes • Hypertension Surgical history: • Cholecystectomy • Hysterectomy (due to fibroids) Medications: For diabetes: • Glyburide (10 mg daily) • Metformin (1,000 mg bid) For blood pressure: • Methyldopa (250 mg bid) • Lisinopril (10 mg daily) For cholesterol: • Atorvastatin (80 mg daily) For CHD prophylaxis: • Aspirin (81 mg daily) For osteoporosis prevention: • Calcium citrate with vitamin D (600mg/400 IU bid) Diphenhydramine is her only over-the-counter medication, and she is taking no traditional or herbal medications beyond the zapote tea. Social History She does not smoke, and drinks only small amounts of alcohol on holidays. Given what you have heard from Mrs. Gomez and her daughter, especially • Her inability to focus • Her lack of energy • The sense that she is in slow motion • She has stopped doing activities she previously enjoyed You are concerned that her insomnia may be due to depression. Depression may stem from environmental stressors such as her husband's death and her loss of independence along with a primary neurochemical imbalance. Her depression also could be caused by another medical condition. Keeping in mind the disorders associated with depression, you elicit a review of systems from Mrs. Gomez to help discover what these indicate regarding her underlying illness. Constitutional: Mrs. Gomez has gained about 10 lbs in the last six months. She reports no fevers or dizziness. This makes you less concerned about cancer or other systemic illness. Respiratory: No shortness of breath, making cardio-respiratory disease less likely. Cardiac: No chest pains, palpitations or edema, decreasing the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. Gastrointestinal: No nausea, changes in bowel habits, hematochezia or melena. This makes you less concerned about gastrointestinal cancer or occult blood loss leading to anemia. Endocrinologic: No polydipsia or polyuria, decreasing the likelihood of poorly controlled diabetes. Neurologic: No acute neurologic changes or tremors. Her daughter confirms that her mother has been alert, oriented, and has had no episodes of confusion. So you are now less concerned about cerebral infarction, intracranial tumors, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson disease. Urologic: Normally urinates one to two times at night. Once you have completed your review of systems, you excuse yourself from the room for a moment while Mrs. Gomez changes into a gown. When you return to the exam room, after washing your hands, you perform a physical exam on Mrs. Gomez. Vital signs: • Pulse is 60 beats/minute and regular • Respiratory rate is 16 breaths/minute • Blood pressure is 128/78 mm Hg • Weight is 84 kg (186 lbs (up 10 lbs since last year)) • Height is 163 cm (64 in) Head, eyes, ears, nose and throat (HEENT): No thyromegaly, adenopathy, or masses. Cardiac: Regular rate and rhythm, no murmur or gallops. No edema. Respiratory: Clear to auscultation. Abdominal: Soft, nontender, without organomegaly or masses. Neurologic: Cranial nerves 3-12 intact. Normal strength and light touch sensation in extremities. No tremors. Normal gait. You are afraid your next question may upset Mrs. Gomez, but you know it is important to ask: "Mrs. Gomez, I have one more question: When people are down, sometimes they wish they would fall asleep and never wake up. "Have you had any thoughts of dying or causing harm to yourself?" "Well, it has been hard and I would like to see my husband, but I could never hurt myself because of my religion," she tells you. "Okay, thank you for your openness with me," you tell Mrs. Gomez. "I would like to bring in Dr. Lee so she can also perform a physical exam before you get dressed. We'll be back in just a minute. Do you have any questions for me before I go?" Mrs. Gomez indicates she doesn't have any concerns, so you exit the room. You locate Dr. Lee and present the case to her, expressing your concern that Mrs. Gomez is depressed. She suggests discussing the evidence you found that Mrs. Gomez may have depression. You tell Dr. Lee, "Mrs. Gomez has a depressed mood and seven of the nine criteria." "You seem to have established that Mrs. Gomez meets the criteria for a major clinical depression," says Dr. Lee You express to Dr. Lee your concern that by asking about suicide you may have made the situation worse. Dr. Lee reassures you: "Many people worry that bringing up the subject of suicide will cause the patient to commit suicide. On the contrary, talking about it allows the opportunity to intervene and prevent a completed suicide." Entering the room with you, Dr. Lee greets Mrs. Gomez and her daughter, and thanks them for allowing you to interview them. She tells Mrs. Gomez, "I understand that you've been having trouble sleeping - not unusual given your recent stresses. These can also lead to feelings of depression. I'd like to look into this by going over a short questionnaire with you." Dr. Lee goes over the questions on the Geriatric Depression Scale - Short Form (GDS-SF) with Mrs. Gomez. Her score equals 9. This confirms depression, as a score of > 5 is consistent with the diagnosis of depression. Dr. Lee then performs a Mini-Cog exam to screen for dementia, explaining to Mrs. Gomez that in cases like this, checking out the patient's memory and concentration can help to rule out other disorders and can assist in planning treatment. She scores in the normal range. I'm glad Mrs. Gomez mentioned trying out a traditional herbal treatment," Dr. Lee tells you, "This is the sort of thing you don't want to miss. Do you know anything about zapote?" You quickly search a drug program on your smartphone and an online database and identify a couple of websites that discuss zapote and its suggested uses, but not much else. When you re-enter the exam room, Dr. Lee sits down to talk with Mrs. Gomez, "I would like to do a few tests to rule out any medical problem that might be causing your symptoms. But it looks as though you may be suffering from depression, which is completely understandable given the recent changes in your life. "This may also explain the increase in your blood sugar: Depression takes away your energy and motivation, so it's hard to summon the effort to stick to a diet or even remember to take your medication regularly." After discussing the options for treatment and the various SSRIs, Mrs. Gomez agrees to try sertraline (Zoloft). Dr. Lee writes a prescription for sertraline 25 mg daily, which is well tolerated and available in a generic form. She tells Mrs. Gomez, "Possible side effects include headache, nausea, diarrhea, sleepiness, and (infrequently) insomnia. Because of your age and other medical problems, I'm starting with a moderate dose, but we may increase it later if you don't have an adequate response." Dr. Lee is also worried that Mrs. Gomez's methyldopa may be aggravating her depression, so she substitutes amlodipine 5 mg daily. This would also be in line with current blood pressure research. Next, she suggests, "Mrs. Gomez, another treatment that is very effective for depression is talking with a therapist." Mrs. Gomez shakes her head, "Counseling sounds expensive. Besides, I'd rather talk with my priest than some stranger." Dr. Lee tells her that talking with her priest may be helpful, but a priest's training is different. Dr. Lee encourages her to still consider one or two visits with a counselor to see if she gets any benefit from it, and that there are community mental health centers that will see patients on a sliding scale payment basis if cost is a barrier. You recommend Mrs. Gomez try to get some exercise, possibly walking at the local mall. She agrees to try this. And you give Mrs. Gomez and her daughter a handout about the diagnosis of depression and a list of community resources for people struggling with depression. Dr. Lee reviews the plan with Mrs. Gomez and her daughter: "We will order the blood tests to make sure there are no other medical conditions causing your symptoms. I will order a hemoglobin A1c to see how your diabetes is doing. We may need to adjust your diabetes medicine." "Do you have any other questions?" Dr. Lee asks Mrs. Gomez and her daughter. They shake their heads no. Dr. Lee then concludes the visit: "It will probably take four to six weeks before the medication becomes effective, but it is best if I see you before then - let's say in two weeks - to monitor your progress and discuss any problems or side effects; we will also review your tests and see if anything else needs to be done. Please feel free to call or come in sooner than that if you have concerns, feel worse, or experience side effects that prevent you from continuing to take your medication." On a return visit to Dr. Lee's office two months later, you see Mrs. Gomez is on the schedule. It is her first visit to the clinic since your previous encounter. Her daughter is in the waiting room. When you ask how she's been doing, she says, "Just terrible. I still can't sleep, and now I find that I'm crying all the time." She admits that she never started her sertraline and didn't get the lab tests. She was worried that people would think she's crazy. She also felt that she should be able to handle her feelings without using drugs. You ask her what she thinks is wrong with her. She replies she simply thinks she is grieving the loss of her husband. She's been trying to use prayer to overcome it, but this hasn't worked so far. I worry about my daughter," Mrs. Gomez says tearfully through the interpreter. "She's just so angry all the time." At this point, Mrs. Gomez starts to cry. You attempt to comfort her for a moment, and then retrieve Dr. Lee for assistance. Dr. Lee offers Mrs. Gomez a tissue and holds her hand. After a moment, she asks, "Mrs. Gomez, can you tell me why you are worried about your daughter?" She replies, "It's just that Silvia is so short tempered and she cries a lot. I feel bad because I know I'm a terrible burden on the family and it's causing Silvia a lot of stress." Dr. Lee responds, "I have to ask, has your daughter ever hurt you or threatened you?" Mrs. Gomez reports no. A quick exam finds no bruises or other signs of abuse. Dr. Lee explains to Mrs. Gomez that you and she are going to talk with Silvia and will be back in a moment. You and Dr. Lee interview Sylvia alone. She admits finding the demands of caring for her mother increasingly draining. Assuring her that it is common for adult children to find themselves caring for both their parents and their own children (a situation sometimes referred to as the "Sandwich Generation"), Dr. Lee directs Silvia to a website ( for families dealing with depression. The website includes: • Lay-oriented educational materials on depression • Resources on how to deal with their own emotional reactions to the illness • Lists of support groups When you have answered all of her questions, you excuse yourselves from the room. Dr. Lee states that she doesn't feel that there is much risk for abuse in this case, although it's something a provider should keep an eye open for in such taxing situations. You and Dr. Lee return to speak with Mrs. Gomez about her depression. "I can appreciate your concern about the diagnosis of depression," says Dr. Lee. "I hope it will help to know that these feelings you are having are very common: More than 14 million Americans experience depression in any given year. I see lots of people who are depressed in this clinic, and they are not 'crazy.' Depression is not a weakness of character that you should try to deal with on your own. It's a medical condition just like your diabetes. And just like you take medication to help control your diabetes, we have medication to help with depression. This can be a severe problem, and is unlikely to clear up anytime soon without appropriate help." "But I am afraid I won't have the same feelings if I take medication," Mrs. Gomez interjects, "I don't want to change who I am." Dr. Lee explains, "I am glad you shared your concern with me. I want to assure you that the medication won't change who you are; in fact, I believe that this medication will be helpful in allowing you to be more like you normally are. I also know you are concerned about Silvia and how she's dealing with her own stress. This is the best thing you can do, not only for yourself, but also for your family." Mrs. Gomez replies, "Well, I suppose it can't hurt to give the medicine a try. I don't seem to be getting better on my own." Dr. Lee then replies, "Great. I know this is hard for you to do, but I think you will find it helpful. Once you start taking the medication, you may start feeling better as quickly as within a week. But you probably won't feel the full effects for about two months. Try not to get discouraged. Depression can be very frustrating. It will take time for your depression to go away." Dr. Lee re-prescribes the sertraline and Mrs. Gomez gives her assurance that she will try it this time. Dr. Lee also reorders the lab tests and refers Mrs. Gomez to the local government Department of Aging to see if there are any support services they might provide. After Mrs. Gomez and her daughter leave, Dr. Lee advises you, "It is common to have difficulty getting an older adult to adhere to an antidepressant regimen." You see Mrs. Gomez and her daughter again about two months later when you return to Dr. Lee's clinic. "So nice to see you, Mrs. Gomez!" "How are you feeling?" "It's good to see you also. I'm feeling so much better. I sleep all night, I have more energy, and my mood is lighter. The medicine Dr. Lee gave me made me a little nauseous at first, but when I talked with her about it, she told me it was normal and would subside. So, I continued the sertraline and after a couple of weeks, the nausea did go away. I tried to exercise like you suggested, but my arthritis just bothered me too much." Today her score on the Geriatric Depression Scale is 4, which is in the normal range. Silvia adds, "Mom has made new friends at church and has become involved with a group of women there that she spends time with several days a week. It's nice to see her taking an interest in things again. It actually takes a huge weight off my shoulders, as well. Thank you for all of your help." Apply information from the Aquifer Case Study to answer the following discussion questions: Discuss the Mrs. Gomez’s history that would be pertinent to her difficulty sleeping. Include chief complaint, HPI, Social, Family and Past medical history that would be important to know. Describe the physical exam and diagnostic tools to be used for Mrs. Gomez. Are there any additional you would have liked to be included that were not? Please list 3 differential diagnoses for Mrs. Gomez and explain why you chose them. What was your final diagnosis and how did you make the determination? What plan of care will Mrs. Gomez be given at this visit, include drug therapy and treatments; what is the patient education and follow-up? source..
Week 4 Discussion NSG6001 Advanced Nursing Practice Student’s Name Institutional Affiliation Course Number: Course Title Instructor’s Name Assignment Due Date Week 4 Discussion NSG6001 Advanced Nursing Practice Question 1 Mrs. Gomez presented herself to the clinic with the primary complaint that she had not been able to sleep recently and that she felt very exhausted. After the patient's spouse died away the previous year, she decided to move in with her daughter and the rest of her daughter's family. The daughter stated that her mother does not go to church anymore and that she also does not read anymore. In addition, Mrs. Gomez's daughter claims that her mother lacks energy, has poor motor skills, and struggles to concentrate on the duties at hand. The patient does not smoke in public and limits their alcohol consumption to simply a few drinks on special occasions like holidays. Her previous medical history includes hypercholesterolemia, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. Her past medical procedures include a cholecystectomy and a hysterectomy (due to fibroids), both of which were performed. Question 2 The objective data obtained from her vital signs would be analyzed throughout the course of the physical exam. The fact that the patient has gained 10 pounds over the course of the last year is particularly noteworthy. I would investigate every system and make certain that everything is operating within the expected parameters. The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS – SF) and the Mini-Cog test were both used as diagnostic tools. In order to exclude the possibility of any more problems, I would have had the patient undergo additional blood tests such a complete blood count, complete metabolic profile, and thyroid panel. Question 3 Depression is the obvious starting point for the differential diagnostic process. There is no doubt that the patient is suffering from depression since they are displaying symptoms such as weariness, sleeplessness, lack of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities, and psychomotor slowness (Maurer, Raymond, & Davis, 2018). Hypothyroidism is the second possible diagnosis for me. Until the thyroid levels have returned to normal, hypothyroidism may induce symptoms that are similar to those of depression. Patients who have hypothyroidism often show symptoms such as increased weight, sadness, and lethargy. The third prognosis that might be given to me is dementia. Patients suffering from dementia have memory loss, difficulty focusing, and/or difficulty completing activities. However, Mrs. Gomez did not show any signs of dementia when she was given the mini-cog test. My best and last guess is that you are suffering from depression. Question 4 Putting Mrs. Gomez on antidepressants would be the best course of action to address her depression. For this particular patient, the medication of choice would be Zoloft. I would go back and take a fresh look at the drugs that the patient has been taking. Depression is one of the potential effects of the use of methyldopa medication (Wiciński et al., 2020). One should consider switching to Norvasc if they are using that drug. In addition to that, I would explain to the patient the significance of being consistent with their drug schedule. I would also make sure she was aware that the symptoms of depression do not go overnight and that it would take some time before they do. In conclusion, I would advise Mrs. Gomez to start an exercise routine and return to her church to resume participating in some of the activities she once did since I believe these things to be ...
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