Assessment Tools and Diagnostic Tests
Advanced practice nurses use various diagnostic tests and assessment tools which help in determining the health condition of a patient. These health professionals should however be mindful of the reliability, validity, and sensitivity of the assessment tools used. This move is ensuring that the results of the assessment will be correct. It will also help ensure that young and adult patients are diagnosed in the right manner to avoid making wrong diagnostic decisions in the two groups of patients. One of the commonly used diagnostic tools is the Mammogram. This diagnostic tool is used to examine the human breast for diagnosis and screening and it uses low-energy X-rays (Suresh et al., 2018). It is a tool used by health care providers to detect breast cancer, especially among women. The major purpose of mammograms is that this tool helps in the early detection of breast cancer among women. This tool is effective in the detection of breast cancer in the mammalian breast which helps in early diagnosis. This diagnostic tool helps doctors diagnose a patient and commence a treatment plan as early as possible.
When carrying out the mammogram tests, the patient is required to stand in front of the diagnostic tool. The tool includes a special X-ray that helps in examining the breast. The doctor will then press the breast as required in between two plates which help hold the breast for screening. The breasts are flattened by the plates and then the X-ray is taken. The doctor might take more X-ray samples which help in examining the possibility of a patient having breasts cancer. This explains how the mammogram diagnostic test is conducted.
The mammogram diagnostic tool gathers numerous kinds of information. The tool gathers information about the presence of tumors in the breast. This information helps the doctor evaluate if this patient is suffering from breast cancer or if the patient is in a position of contracting breast cancer. The tool also gathers information about calcium deposits which helps the health caregiver determine if the patient has breast cancer. The tool also helps provide images that contain information about the state of the patient’s breast. Such information will lead to an effective diagnosis of the patient’s condition and an effective treatment plan will be developed to help the patient recover from breast cancer. The tool is also effective in collecting information concerning breast pain, nipple discharge, breast size and shape, and thickening of the breast. Such information is paramount in the diagnosis of possible breast cancer.
The mammogram tool has a high reliability and validity percentage. The fact that the tool can be between 80% and 98% effective in diagnosing breast cancer makes it a reliable and valid diagnostic tool. Heath professionals evacuate the validity and reliability of a diagnostic tool or test before choosing to use such a tool. A mammogram is a tool that can be used to help treat and save more patients who are suffering from breast cancer (LAA, 2018). If a tool is not reliable, it might lead to wrong or inaccurate findings. Evaluating the validity and reliability of any diagnostic tool is therefore paramount in the health sector.
Concerning sensitivity, mammography has a high sensitivity of about 97% among its patients (What is a mammogram, 2020). This fact makes the tool effective in finding breast cancer in women. It also means that the tool is effective and can be used by health professionals to help women fight against breast cancer. The sensitivity of mammography is however high in female patients aged above 50 years as compared to patients who are below this age. However, the diagnostic tool remains effective and helps come up with proper diagnoses among the patients.
There are no major issues with the reliability of this diagnostic tool. This move makes the tool more effective in health centers. The only issue with mammography is that it is not a perfect tool to use in diagnosing breast cancer. The mammogram can fail to detect breast cancer which is hidden by normal breast tissue. This fact leads to false results known as false negatives and is ineffective in diagnosing breast cancer among women. The diagnostic tool can also lead to the identification of cancer symptoms which could turn out to be just normal breast tissues. The diagnostic tool, therefore, becomes unreliable as it might produce unreliable results.
Mammography is believed to have a high accuracy level of about 80%. However, the issue with the productivity of this tool is that the tool has a positive predictive value of 89% as compared to a negative predictive value of 90.9% (What is a mammogram, 2020). The diagnostic tool is however accurate and produces results that can be reliable and useful to health professionals. The prediction of positive results against cancer in patients aids in the early treatment of the disease. This tool has helped improve the lives of many patients. Early detection of breast cancer accelerates the treatment of patients and a patient can easily recover from the health condition. To avoid negative predictions, repeated tests are conducted to ensure that the health professional can make informed decisions based on the results of the mammography. This move helps avoid any errors.
LAA, A. (2018). Comparison between the mammogram and Tomosynthesis for the evaluation of replacing FFDM mammogram with Tomosynthesis. Austin Journal of Radiology, 5(2). https://doi.org/10.26420/austinjradiol.2018.1082
Suresh, R., Rao, A. N., & Reddy, B. E. (2018). Improving the mammogram images by intelligibility mammogram enhancement method. 2018 2nd International Conference on Inventive Systems and Control (ICISC). https://doi.org/10.1109/icisc.2018.8398954
What is a mammogram? (2020, September 14). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/mammograms.htm
Many experts predict that genetic testing for disease susceptibility is well on its way to becoming a routine part of clinical care. Yet many of the genetic tests currently being developed are, in the words of the World Health Organization (WHO), of “questionable prognostic value.”
—Leslie Pray, PhD
Obesity remains one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States. As a leading cause of United States mortality, morbidity, disability, healthcare utilization and healthcare costs, the high prevalence of obesity continues to strain the United States healthcare system (Obesity Society, 2016). More than one-third (39.8%) of U.S. adults have obesity (CDC, 2018). The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight (CDC, 2018).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of childhood obesity has tripled in the past 30 years, with an estimated 13.7 million children and adolescents considered obese (CDC, 2018). When seeking insights about a patient’s overall health and nutritional state, body measurements can provide a valuable perspective. This is particularly important with pediatric patients. Measurements such as height and weight can provide clues to potential health problems and help predict how children will respond to illness. Nurses need to be proficient at using assessment tools, such as the Body Mass Index (BMI) and growth charts, in order to assess nutrition-related health risks and pediatric development while being sensitive to other factors that may affect these measures. Body Mass Index is also used as a predictor for measurement of adult weight and health.
Assessments are constantly being conducted on patients, but they may not provide useful information. In order to ensure that health assessments provide relevant data, nurses should familiarize themselves with test-specific factors that may affect the validity, reliability, and value of these tools.
This week, you will explore various assessment tools and diagnostic tests that are used to gather information about patients’ conditions. You will examine the validity and reliability of these tests and tools. You will also examine assessment techniques, health risks and concerns, and recommendations for care related to patient growth, weight, and nutrition.
- Evaluate validity and reliability of assessment tools and diagnostic tests
- Analyze diversity considerations in health assessments
- Apply concepts, theories, and principles related to examination techniques, functional assessments, and cultural and diversity awareness in health assessment
- Apply assessment skills to collect patient health histories