In healthcare, knowledge integration involves drawing upon and synthesizing client data to inform diagnostic reasoning and clinical decision-making. Healthcare providers are continually evaluating whether vital sign measurements are normal or abnormal. The analysis takes into consideration the client’s baseline vital sign measurements as well as the client’s age and health and illness state. Additionally, healthcare providers pay attention to trending, which involves looking at vital signs across time to detect changes. If abnormalities are identified, healthcare providers consider the client context including other subjective and objective data to differentiate relevant from irrelevant data. The analysis of client data influences evidence-informed clinical decision-making in which healthcare providers identify priority actions and treatment options.
This chapter presents five case studies based on what you learned in Chapters 1–5. The case studies are intended to provide an opportunity for you to critically think about client data in the context of a client situation. You will integrate your knowledge about normal and abnormal vital signs and engage in diagnostic reasoning to determine priority actions and next steps based on the client data.
Case Study 1: Adult client
Case Study 2: Pediatric client
Case Study 3: Pregnant adult client
Case Study 4: Older adult client
Case Study 5: Adolescent client
Data about each case study are provided with a series of critical thinking questions. The answers are provided on the page following the questions. You will need paper and a pen to write down your answers. For some of the case studies, you will be directed to download a blank vital sign record.