s week’s Learning Resources,

Properly identifying the cause and type of a patient’s skin condition involves a process of elimination known as differential diagnosis. Using this process, a health professional can take a given set of physical abnormalities, vital signs, health assessment findings, and patient descriptions of symptoms, and incrementally narrow them down until one diagnosis is determined as the most likely cause.

In this Assignment, you will examine several visual representations of various skin conditions, describe your observations, and use the techniques of differential diagnosis to determine the most likely condition.

To Prepare

  • Review the      Skin Conditions document provided in this week’s Learning Resources, and      select one condition to closely examine for this Lab Assignment.
  • Consider the      abnormal physical characteristics you observe in the graphic you selected.      How would you describe the characteristics using clinical terminologies?
  • Explore      different conditions that could be the cause of the skin abnormalities in      the graphics you selected.
  • Consider      which of the conditions is most likely to be the correct diagnosis, and      why.
  • Search for      one evidence-based practice, peer-reviewed article based on the skin      condition you chose for this Lab Assignment.
  • Review the      Comprehensive SOAP Exemplar found in this week’s Learning Resources to      guide you as you prepare your SOAP note.
  • Download the      SOAP Template found in this week’s Learning Resources, and use this      template to complete this Lab Assignment.

The Lab Assignment

  • Choose one      skin condition graphic (identify by number in your Chief Complaint) to      document your assignment in the SOAP (Subjective, Objective, Assessment,      and Plan) note format rather than the traditional narrative style. Refer      to Chapter 2 of the Sullivan text and the Comprehensive SOAP Template in      this week’s Learning Resources for guidance. Remember that not all      comprehensive SOAP data are included in every patient case.
  • Use clinical      terminologies to explain the physical characteristics featured in the      graphic. Formulate a differential diagnosis of three to five possible conditions for the      skin graphic that you chose. Determine which is most likely to be the      correct diagnosis and explain your reasoning using at least three      different references, one reference from current evidence-based literature      from your search and two different references from this week’s Learning      Resources.


Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Seidel’s guide to physical examination: An interprofessional approach (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

· Chapter 9, “Skin, Hair, and Nails”
This chapter reviews the basic anatomy and physiology of skin, hair, and nails. The chapter also describes guidelines for proper skin, hair, and nails assessments.

Colyar, M. R. (2015). Advanced practice nursing procedures. Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.

Credit Line: Advanced practice nursing procedures, 1st Edition by Colyar, M. R. Copyright 2015 by F. A. Davis Company. Reprinted by permission of F. A. Davis Company via the Copyright Clearance Center.

This section explains the procedural knowledge needed prior to performing various dermatological procedures.

Dains, J. E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. (2019). Advanced health assessment and clinical diagnosis in primary care (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

Credit Line: Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Diagnosis in Primary Care, 6th Edition by Dains, J.E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. Copyright 2019 by Mosby. Reprinted by permission of Mosby via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Chapter 28, “Rashes and Skin Lesions”
This chapter explains the steps in an initial examination of someone with dermatological problems, including the type of information that needs to be gathered and assessed.


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