A case study gives an in-depth look at an individual patient. In the realm of nursing, case studies focus on specific patients and provide information about their symptoms, their medical history and their diagnoses.
Uses of Case Studies
Nursing students may be given case studies and asked to diagnose patients based on information about the patients' symptoms, medical histories and other relevant details.
Alternatively, nursing students may be asked to write their own case studies. The students illustrate a case they have dealt with, explaining about the patient, the symptoms, the diagnosis, the treatments and information from a physical assessment.
Reading a case study and coming up with a diagnosis is a good way for nursing students to test the knowledge they've acquired in the classroom in a more realistic, clinical way. Writing case studies is also a useful learning tool; it forces students to reflect on the entire course of treatment for a patient, ranging from obtaining important information to diagnosis to treating the medical condition.
Completing a successful case study requires paying attention to and obtaining important relevant information. One of the best ways to do this is to ask the right questions. Think about the characteristics of the patient: the age, the sex, occupation, where they live. Students should pay attention to vitals, such as temperature and blood pressure. They should also consider the symptoms: How severe are they? When did they start? By asking a lot of questions and getting a lot of information, students who are writing and reading case studies can have enough information to make a better diagnosis.