Spring 2012

NURS 3204-001 Health Assessment: Theoretical Foundations

All students are responsible for checking their UTHSCSA Livemail account regularly (i.e., daily or several times every week) to obtain Official University Communication regarding their courses, program and student status.

First day of class:  Thursday, January 12th, 2012
Classroom:  1.208-NS
Time:  3:00 until 5:00 PM


Lark A. Ford, MSN, RN
E-mail:  fordL2@uthscsa.edu
Office Phone:  (210) 567-0838
Office Fax:  (210) 567-1719
Cell Phone:  (210) 544-1535
Office Room:  2.626-NS
Department of Health Restoration and Care Systems Management


This course focuses on the theory and practice of health assessment of individuals and families across the lifespan with emphasis on the adult and geriatric populations.


2 semester hours (2 hours theory)


Corequisites: NURS 3110-Health Assessment: Clinical Application. 


At the completion of the baccalaureate program the student will demonstrate the following:

  1. Incorporate knowledge, skills, and attitudes from the liberal arts and sciences in professional nursing education and practice.
  2. Apply knowledge and skills of organizational and systems leadership, quality improvement and patient safety in promoting safe, high-quality care for diverse patients across healthcare systems and environments.
  3. Analyze and apply evidence from research and other information sources as a basis for nursing practice.
  4. Incorporate knowledge and skills in using information systems and a range of patient-care technologies to facilitate delivery of quality patient care.
  5. Advocate for financial and regulatory healthcare policies, processes, and environments that improve the nature and functioning of the healthcare delivery system and nursing practice.
  6. Collaborate and communicate effectively with healthcare professionals to promote positive working relationships, improve patient health outcomes, and deliver quality, safe patient care.
  7. Promote individual and population health by assessing factors that influence individual and population health and apply principles and culturally appropriate health promotion and disease-prevention strategies. Demonstrate consistent application of the core values of the discipline of nursing and the professional standards of moral, ethical, and legal conduct.
  8. Demonstrate consistent application of the core values of the discipline of nursing and the professional standards of moral, ethical, and legal conduct.
  9. Integrate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes expected of baccalaureate prepared nurses by providing professional nursing care to diverse patients and populations across the lifespan, healthcare settings, and healthcare environments.


  1. Identify age related, cultural, and situational factors affecting health assessment integrating knowledge derived from liberal education. (Essential I, IX)
  2. Describe the components of a complete health history. (Essential VI, VII, IX)
  3. Identify principles and techniques of skilled interviewing. (Essential VII, IX)
  4. Describe the components of a family assessment and genogram. (Essential VII, IX)
  5. Describe the components and process of physical examination. (Essential IX)
  6. Differentiate normal and abnormal physical examination findings. (Essential IX)
  7. Identify topics for health promotion. (Essential VI, VII, IX)




A = 4 points (90-100)
B = 3 points (80-89)
C = 2 points (75-79)
D = 1 point (66-74)
F = 0 points (65 or below)


Grading Percentages: 
All exams will be administered Online - SofTest from ExamSoft
20% - Exam 1
20% - Exam 2
20% - Exam 3
25% - Final Exam
10% - Evidence-Based Health Promotion Presentation
  5% - Journal Article Presentation

Grading Scale:
A = 90-100%
B = 80-89%
C = 70-79%
D = 60-69%
F = Below 60%



  1. Examination items are the proprietary intellectual property of the university and are not to be shared by students. Sharing of exam items by students is considered cheating and is subject to disciplinary action. There are no legal test item banks available to students in the SON other than those provided with the ATI NCLEX –RN exam preparation materials.
  2. Exams are required.
  3. Students are expected to take examinations at the scheduled time.
  4. The student must notify the course coordinator prior to the scheduled exam time if they are unable to take the exam as scheduled.  Failure to make this notification in advance will result in a "zero" for that examination.
  5. If the excuse is accepted as reasonable and necessary, arrangements will be made for a make-up examination.
  6. Exam content is based on course, class, and clinical objectives.  Included are all required readings, lecture and discussion, related material in the course packet, media presented in or required for class, material handed out, and material on Blackboard.
  7. Students should follow the School of Nursing dress code during exams. 
  8. Students must leave all food and drink, books, purses, and backpacks in an area designated by exam proctors.  If available, students are encouraged to leave personal items in lockers.  No hats, caps or head coverings may be worn during exams, with the exception of those required for religious purposes.
  9. When entering the classroom for an exam, students will show their School of Nursing badge to the proctor.  Proctors will ensure only the students eligible to take the exam receive access to the test and take the exam in an approved testing location.  During the exam, students will wear their badge on the upper chest area.
  10. Calculators, scratch paper and pencils are provided by the School of Nursing for exams.  Proctors will distribute the scratch paper after students have initiated the exam.
  11. If students arrive late, no extra time to complete the exam will be given.
  12. Each student is responsible for making sure that he or she has completed the exam before the exam is turned in to a proctor.  Under no circumstances will a student be allowed to retrieve his or her exam materials after turning them in to the test proctor.
  13. Students will be given the opportunity to review exams.  


  1. To pass the course, a student must have a weighted average of 75% on all graded activities.
  2. Students must make a "C" (75) or higher in all nursing courses to progress in the program.


The final grade will be calculated to two decimal places and rounded mathematically as follows:


Attendance in class is an expectation of each student.


  1. If written assignments are made in a course they are required.
  2. Students are expected to submit written work on the scheduled date and time.
  3. The student must notify the course coordinator prior to the scheduled due date and time if they are unable to submit the written work as scheduled. Failure to make this notification in advance will result in a "zero" for that written work.
  4. If the excuse is accepted as reasonable and necessary, arrangements will be made for an alternative due date and time.
  5. Each student is responsible for making sure that he or she has completed the written work prior to submission.
  6. Late work will be accepted with consequences as outlined per course syllabi.


The APA Publication Manual 6th edition is required for use in all nursing school programs. 

Assessment Technologies Institute®, LLC (ATI) RN CONTENT MASTERY SERIES®

UTHSCSA School of Nursing utilizes the ATI RN Content Mastery Series®, RN Comprehensive Predictor® practice and proctored exams, and the ATI Virtual "greenlight" program to assist students in preparing for the NCLEX-RN® exam. Through practice and proctored examinations, students are able to assess their own knowledge and receive feedback and direction for content review throughout the program of study.

The proctored exams are administered in specific courses in both undergraduate tracks.

In order for a student to take the course related proctored exam, students will take the non-proctored (Practice A and B) tests individually, as often as they wish with a minimum of a 24 hour wait period between attempts. The student should engage in a minimum of one hour focused review on missed topics and/or identify three critical points to remember. Achievement of a 90% or higher individual score is required prior to taking the proctored test. Students may be required to show documentation by submitting a printed copy of the individual student transcript to the faculty prior to testing. Non-proctored tests are pass/fail.

To strengthen the review method, if students did not achieve a 90% or greater on the practice exam, students should understand the rationales for each distracter. It is recommended that students review 5-15 questions at a time with ample time given to review each of the rationales. When the student logs in again, the exam will continue from where the student had stopped previously.

Content Mastery Exams will comprise 15% of the total course grade. The following provides guidelines for inclusion of the CME in the course grade.

                   Content Mastery Examinations Requirements


 1st ATI Exam  (15% of Course Points)

2nd ATI Exam      (15% of Course Points)


100% of points  

85% of points


90% of points

80% of points    


*0% of points, develop focused review** and must retake exam

0% of points

Less than Level 1

*0% of points, develop focused review** and must retake exam

0% of points

*Level 1 and below: An individualized student success plan will be developed and implemented in conjunction with faculty to help student attain content mastery.

* Focused review consists of printing out the specific proctored “report” and using either the available ATI templates or a plain piece of paper to handwrite all of the missed items under “Topics to Review” and label each missed item with the topic descriptors. This handwritten remediation will be stapled with the student’s proctored “report”. 

The RN Comprehensive Predictor will be given in Nurs 4420 (traditional BSN program) or Nurs 4423 accelerated BSN program).


Students are expected to be above reproach in all scholastic activities. Students who engage in scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and dismissal from the university. "Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts." Regents Rules and Regulations, Part One, Chapter VI, Section 3, Subsection 3.2, Subdivision 3.22.


Any student seeking reasonable accommodations through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should contact either the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Services within the first week of the semester or schedule a meeting with the UTHSCSA ADA Compliance Office so that appropriate accommodations may be arranged. A request for accommodations (Form ADA-100: http://uthscsa.edu/eeo/form100-Faculty-student-resident.pdf) must be completed and submitted to the Executive Director of the ADA Compliance Office before accommodations can be provided. Additional information can be provided in the Student Success Center, Room 1.118 or through the ADA Compliance Office website: http://uthscsa.edu/eeo/request.asp.



First Semester, Traditional Track, Spring 2012

Required Textbooks/Resources 

Option One – Electronic

Students:  You can select to purchase several of the first semester nursing textbooks packaged together as Electronic Books (eBooks) Bundle using the following Purchase Bundle ISBN: 9781455713264:  You will save money on these bundled textbooks.

Potter, P.A., & Perry, A. G. (2009). Fundamentals of nursing: concepts, process, and practice (7th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby. 

Creasia, J.L., Parker B.J. (2010). Conceptual foundations: The bridge to professional nursing practice (5th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby.

Lewis, S. M., Collier, I. C., & Heitkemper, M. M. (2010). Medical surgical nursing: Assessment and management of clinical problems (8th ed.).  St. Louis: Mosby.

Elkin, M.K., Potter, P.A. and Perry, A.G., (2012), Nursing Interventions & Clinical Skills (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO. Elsevier.

Mosby (2009), Nursing video skills:  basic, intermediate and advanced skills DVD and DVD-ROM.  Maryland Heights, MO. Elsevier.

Pagana, K.D. & Pagana, T.J. (2010). Diagnostic and laboratory test reference (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO.

Skidmore-Roth, L. (2010).  Mosby’s drug guide for nurses (2010 ed.).  St. Louis, MO. Mosby.

Jarvis, C.  (2012). Physical examination & health assessment (6th ed.).  St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.

Jarvis, C. (2012).  Student laboratory manual, physical examination & health assessment (6th ed.).  St. Louis, MO:  Saunders Elsevier.

Mosby’s Nursing Skills Video Physical Examination & Health Assessment.  Maryland Heights, MD:  Elsevier. 

Pharmacology for Nursing Care – User guide for Electronic Resources AND
Lehne, R.A. (2010) Pharmacology for Nursing Care Textbook, (7th ed.).  

Mulholland, J. M.  (2011). The Nurse, The Math, The Meds: Drug Calculations using Dimensional Analysis 2nd edition.  St. Louis:  Mosby Elsevier.   

Option Two – Traditional Books

Students:  You can select to purchase the required first semester nursing textbooks separately from the following list below.  The appropriate ISBN code is listed next to each textbook.  

NURS 3204 and NURS 3110 Health Assessment







Jarvis, C. 

Physical Exam & Health Assessment student lab manual


9781455786831 for all items 


Items bundled together cost significantly less than purchased if separately

Jarvis, C. & Mosby’s Nursing Skills Video Physical Examination & Health Assessment

Jarvis Physical Exam & Health Assessment  textbook AND

Mosby’s Nursing Video Series:  Physical Exam and Health Assessment DVD



The above required textbooks will also be used for NURS 3110 Health Assessment:  Clinical Applications Course. 




Learning Modules:

Introduction to Health Assessment

Interviewing & Health History

Introduction to Physical Examination; General Survey; Measurement & Vital Signs; Skin, Hair & Nails Assessment & Head, Face, Neck & Regional Lymphatics Assessment

Eyes, Ears, Nose, Mouth & Throat Assessment

Heart & Neck Vessels Assessment & Peripheral Vascular Assessment

Breasts & Regional Lymphatics Assessment; Abdominal Assessment & Genitourinary Assessment

Musculoskeletal Assessment; Mental Status & Neurologic Assessment

CALENDAR - 1st Day Only

Please check the schedule for recent updates on Class Dates & Room.

Please check the schedule for recent updates on class dates and room.

Date:  Thursday, January 12th, 2012
Course Orientation/Introduction to Health Assessment
Pre-class reading assignment:

Jarvis, C. (2012).  Physical examination & health assessment (6th ed.).  St. Louis, MO:  Saunders Elsevier.

Chapter 1, Evidence-Based Assessment, pp. 1-10.

Chapter 2, Cultural Competence:  Cultural Care, pp. 11-28.

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