Gastrointestinal Assessment Techniques in Children

Advanced Assessment Health History and Physical Examination Techniques: Addressing Gastrointestinal Issues

Performing a functional gastrointestinal assessment in young patients requires a wide range of skills and vast knowledge for detecting problems at the early stages of their development. The effects of gastrointestinal issues vary depending on patients’ age. Due to high morbidity rates among children with gastrointestinal issues, the associated conditions require proper care and diligent evaluation of a patient’s well-being (Hyams et al., 2016).

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In the scenario under analysis, the application of Rome II and III criteria as opposed to the adoption of personal experiences, should be seen as imperative due to the risks of complications caused by misdiagnosing (Amornyotin, 2015). Furthermore, the treatment process should involve the therapeutic management of gastroenterological issues in children along with the accepted range of medications.

The proposed technique for assessing and detecting functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) is expected to lead to significant improvements in the conditions of children suffering from gastroenterological issues. The proposed framework is expected to help in addressing a range of gastrointestinal conditions in children, including the “irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional constipation (FC), and functional regurgitation (FR)” (Scarpato et al., 2017). Overall, the selected tools, including Rome II and III criteria, are believed to help to advance the quality of nursing practice in regard to pediatric gastrointestinal issues.

Normal and Abnormal Findings During a Gastrointestinal Assessment in a Pediatric Context

When performing a pediatric screening for possible gastroenterological issues, a nurse has to be aware of the signs and symptoms of possible abnormalities that can be spotted at an early stage. Thus, methods of addressing the identified concerns can be produced fast. During a focused assessment of the target demographic, a nurse should be ready to spot the problems such as bulges in a patient’s abdomen. In addition, the following questions will be required to ensure that accurate and relevant data is collected:

  1. Has the patient been experiencing pain or discomfort in their abdomen?
  2. Has the child recently experienced difficulties swallowing?
  3. Has the child shown any mood swings recently?
  4. Have there been any issues with the child’s gross and fine motor skills?
  5. Has the patient’s speech changed (such as turning slurred) recently?

Any responses that do not involve a direct refutation of the statements mentioned above will require further introspect. In addition, it will be critical for a nurse to examine the patient to locate the abnormalities associated with the child’s temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation. Characteristics such as the patient’s height, weight, head circumference, and blood sugar level (BSL) will have to be taken into account as well when performing an assessment (Scarpato et al., 2017). Thus, a nurse will be able to deliver a comprehensive analysis and provide accurate results.

Applying Advanced Assessment Skills to Meet the Needs of a Pediatric Patient

In order to cater to the needs of a child with gastrointestinal health concerns, a nurse will have to apply an array of advanced skills. These include the ability to identify a problem, the use of tests for determining the cause of the disorder, and the location of treatment options (Hyams et al., 2016). To determine a problem, a nurse will require skills such as palpation of the abdomen, its percussion, and auscultation (Amornyotin, 2015). With the use of the proposed techniques, a nurse will be able to address the needs of a patient in the pediatric setting.

References

Amornyotin, S. (2015). Registered nurse-administered sedation for gastrointestinal endoscopic procedure. World Journal of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, 7(8), 769-776. Web.

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Hyams, J. S., Di Lorenzo, C., Saps, M., Shulman, R. J., Staiano, A., & van Tilburg, M. (2016). Childhood functional gastrointestinal disorders: Child/adolescent. Gastroenterology, 150(6), 1456-1468. Web.

Scarpato, E., Quitadamo, P., Roman, E., Jojkic-Pavkov, D., Kolacek, S., Papadopoulou, A.,… Djurisic, V. (2017). Functional gastrointestinal disorders in children: a survey on clinical approach in the Mediterranean area. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 64(6), 142-146. Web.

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