Problem Focus Exams: Musculoskeletal and Extremities

Complete a written reflection (250-350 words) on what you learned during this topic. Include the following in your reflection, considered through the lens of a nurse educator.

  1. Think about an experience you have encountered when viewing or completing the particular assessment.
  2. Describe the steps you took when completing this particular assessment.
  3. Discuss difficulties that could potentially arise or specific questions related to completing this type of assessment.
  4. Include illustrative examples of potential strategies used to overcome the difficulties encountered when completing the particular assessment.
  5. Describe how the Christian worldview and compassion for all play 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.


Topic 4 Reflection.

Conditions of the musculoskeletal system are among the common reasons patients seek medical care. Sadly, most of the conditions are not diagnosed early, resulting in complications and a reduction in quality of life (Rao et al., 2022). Therefore, conducting a thorough assessment of the musculoskeletal system is essential for every nurse. This helps in making a diagnosis but also guides the plan of care. As a nurse, I strive to ensure I grasp the full concept to avoid repeating the same mistakes I made in the past.

For instance, during my early clinical rotation, I interacted with various patients with musculoskeletal problems. I realized that most patients presented with joint pains, muscle pain, joint swelling, and muscle aches. As a young professional, I was more interested in finding more elaborations concerning their presenting complaints without asking about family history, past medical history, drug history, and psychosocial profile. This made it hard to arrive at a conclusive diagnosis or missing diagnosis. Sadly, missing some diagnoses could lead to improper management, resulting in poor outcomes and reduced quality of life. Furthermore, death may ensue if some malignant or life-threatening conditions are missed.

Therefore, to reduce errors and improve patient outcomes, I took some personal initiatives to understand the complete assessment of the musculoskeletal system. To begin with, I learned that it is vital to create a good rapport with patients. Creating a positive nurse-patient relationship is a crucial determinant of interaction and course of care (Drossman & Ruddy, 2020). Thereafter, a systematic approach to history taking, including demographics, chief complaints, history of presenting complaint, drug history, past medical and surgical history, and review of the system and psychosocial history should be taken (Rao et al., 2022). For instance, some presenting complaints may exacerbate a previous illness or a genetic condition. Nonetheless, providing detailed information under each aforementioned parameter is essential in understanding the patient’s problems while relating to previous problems. This helps in making a correct diagnosis which guides correct management. Furthermore, following a systematic approach will help reduce confusion while ensuring the provision of holistic care guided by ethics and the Christian worldview.

Finally, nurses should show compassion to their patients ailing from various conditions. As a result, they should spend more time with patients while taking history and conducting physical examinations. This will help nurses to understand patient concerns, offer pieces of advice, administer treatment, and offer holistic care, which will yield better patient outcomes. Furthermore, patient satisfaction will increase while confidence will improve among nurses. All these will define compassionate care guided by Christian teachings necessary for holistic care.



Drossman, D. A., & Ruddy, J. (2020). Improving patient-provider relationships to improve health care. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology: The Official Clinical Practice Journal of the American Gastroenterological Association18(7), 1417–1426.

Rao, L., Taylor, W. R., Horn, N., List, R., Preiss, S., & Schütz, P. (2022). Can tibio-femoral kinematic and kinetic parameters reveal poor functionality and underlying deficits after total knee replacement? A systematic review. The Knee34, 62–75.


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