NUR 325 Health Assessment

Master the skills to analyze the details in data collection and assess all aspects of a client’s general health.

Format: Online
Duration: 8 weeks
Credits: 3

The best way to gauge general health is by comparing the well individual with references to illness. Through NUR 325 Health Assessment, you’ll develop history interviewing skills, and learn to perform a systematic physical examination and a psychosocial assessment.

Course Description

To perform an effective health assessment, you will need to gather both subjective and objective data, complete a health history, incorporate cultural competence and cultural care and use effective communication skills. In this course, you will improve your client interview techniques to ensure that you are able to get relevant information about your clients’ health.


Sample Assignment

You’ll perform a cultural assessment on an individual from a different culture and present the findings to your classmates in a PowerPoint presentation.


You’ll see how your initial observation of a patient can indicate a range of issues, from chronic pain, intimate partner violence, mental health status, substance abuse and more. You will then learn how to assess patient health by collecting subjective data, such as health history questions with rationale, as well as objective data. You’ll examine how to collect this information and how to distinguish between normal and abnormal findings in the various areas and systems of the body.


Learning Exercise Example

Using the Shadow Health® tool — a digital patient simulation device — you’ll complete a digital patient assessment that will include a detailed eye and neurologic examination.

An in-app screenshot featuring an animated patient laying in a hospital bed.
Image Source: Shadow Health Inc.


You’ll learn ways to discuss and encourage health promotion with your patients regarding sun exposure, tobacco, cancer risk, breast self-examination, stroke prevention and foot care.

As part of this course’s lab requirement, you’ll complete a Critical Skills Competency exercise by performing a “live” demonstration of your physical assessment skills via web cam.

Course Topics

Throughout this course, you’ll focus on core topics or themes. Sample topics are listed below and are subject to change based on the instructor.

  • ::  Health History, Evidence-Based Assessment, and Culture
  • ::  General Survey, Pain, Mental Status, Domestic Violence, and Substance Abuse
  • ::  Skin, Hair, and Nails; Head, Face, and Neck
  • ::  Eyes, Ears, Nose, Mouth, Throat
  • ::  Heart, Lungs, Breast, and Lymphatic System
  • ::  Abdomen, Male and Female Genitourinary System, Anus, Rectum, and Prostate
  • ::  Peripheral Vascular, Musculoskeletal, and Neurologic Systems
  • ::  Putting it all together

This course emphasizes the importance of obtaining a detailed, accurate health history. According to the International Journal of Medical Education. 2012;3:78-82 ISSN: 2042-6372 DOI: 10.5116/ijme.4f8a.e48c, “Previous research has shown that physicians make a diagnosis from the patient’s history in 70-90% of cases.

Learning Outcomes: Your Top 9 Takeaways

  1. You’ll gain insight into ways to integrate a variety of assessments into a whole picture of patient health in NUR 325.
  2. Link the interrelationship among concepts of health assessment and nursing practice as supported by the Nurse Practice Act and ANA Standards of practice.
  3. Correlate the nursing process to health assessment performance as a systematic approach to assess individuals across the lifespan.
  4. Apply anatomical, physiological and psychological factors to gather and interpret health assessment data.
  5. Incorporate ethical, legal and professional considerations when conducting a nursing health assessment for individuals from global populations.
  6. Summarize special issues related to age, cultural, socioeconomic and environmental factors that may impact the individual when conducting a health history and physical exam.
  7. Integrate reliable evidence based research that defines the use of physical assessment skills evident in general nursing practice.
  8. Demonstrate foundational techniques of the exam modalities; inspection, auscultation, percussion and palpation needed to conduct a physical exam structured by body systems.
  9. Implement principles of infection control, safety and privacy in order to provide quality care while gathering assessment data during the physical exam.
  10. Utilize effective interviewing and communication strategies demonstrating cultural humility within the professional role when conducting a health history and performing a physical exam for patients/clients from diverse cultures.

Learn More

In NUR 325, you will learn to integrate physical and behavioral sciences to result in a comprehensive assessment of patient health. For more information about this course or other courses in Utica College’s online RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) degree, request more information or call us at 315.732.2640 or toll-free 866.295.3106.

The content presented on this page is representative information for example purposes and is subject to change as course and student needs change over time.