Health Assessment Topic Reflection 4

Health Assessment Topic Reflection 4

Read Chapters 16 in Bates\’ Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking.

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Complete a 250‐word reflection of what you have learned during this topic. Include the following in your reflection:

1.Think about an experience you\’ve encountered when viewing or completing the particular assessment.       Health Assessment Topic Reflection 4

2.Discuss difficulties that could potentially arise or specific questions related to completing this type of assessment.

3.Include illustrative examples of potential strategies used to overcome the difficulties encountered when completing (the particular) assessment.


4.Describe how the Christian worldview and compassion for all plays a role in this type of assessment.

APA style is not required, but solid academic writing is expected.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

History Taking and Physical Examination of the Musculoskeletal System: Lessons and Challenges

History taking and examination of the musculoskeletal system (MS) is usually complex and very time-consuming. Chapter 16 of Bates’ guide to physical examination and history taking has a lot to learn from, but the section on the characteristics of joint pain is especially instructive (Bickley, 2017; Wilson, 1990). An experience that was encountered previously relating to this subject was that of a patient who had come with severe shoulder pain that he said worsened with mild exertion. The immediate reaction had been to examine the shoulder joint thinking that the pain was caused by the joint. It later turned out that this was referred pain that originated from cardiac pathology.       Health Assessment Topic Reflection 4

The above scenario is one of the difficulties that are encountered when doing an examination of the MS system. At times, the pathology is usually visceral but manifesting in the MS system. An important part of the MS assessment is STL (swelling, tenderness, and limitation of movement). These parameters are graded from 0-5 depending on which one it is. Difficulties usually arise when the patient has a different understanding of what, for instance, constitutes a swelling from that of the physician (The University of Arizona, 2019).

Despite all these challenges, however, there are several strategies that could be employed to lessen their impact. These include but are not limited to taking a proper medico-social history (helps with contextualizing the complaint), having a sound understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the MS system, and equipping oneself with an atlas that can be quickly referred to during the physical examination (The University of Arizona, 2019; Mills, n.d.). That said; the Christian worldview and compassion demand that we empathise with the patient and try to understand what they are going through. This helps us be patient with them even when they cannot properly pinpoint where for instance the pain could be.       Health Assessment Topic Reflection 4


Bickley, L.S. (2017). Bates’ guide to physical examination and history taking, 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

Mills, J.A. (n.d.). Chapter 1: physical examination of the musculoskeletal system. McGraw-Hill Education. Retrieved from

The University of Arizona (2019). History taking and the musculoskeletal examination. Retrieved from

Wilson, C.H. (1990). Chapter 164: The musculoskeletal examination. Butterworth Publishers. Retrieved from

Health Assessment Topic Reflection 4


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