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What is the difference between a focused and a comprehensive assessment?…

What is the difference between a focused and a comprehensive assessment?…

Sample Answer 

What is the difference between a focused and a comprehensive assessment?…

The Difference Between a Focused and a Comprehensive Assessment

To be able to deliver effective and comprehensive care, which subsequently influences aspects like the quality of care the patients receive, it is imperative that nurses understand the different assessment options present, and in doing so, be able to select the appropriate one to use based on the unique conditions and needs of each individual. According to Blais & Hayes (2016), assessment is a vital component of nursing practice that is needed for the planning and issuance of medical care. Thus, information that is collected from a correct assessment is the basis for the provision of patient-appropriate nursing care. For that reason, it is paramount that nurses get the difference between a focused patient assessment and a comprehensive patient assessment.

According to Blais & Hayes (2016), a focused assessment refers to the detailed examination of the particular or specific body system, especially relating to the current disease, symptoms, concern, issue, or problem presented by the patient. Usually, nurses should make a focused assessment based on the symptoms or complaints presented by the patient. For example, if the patient complains of shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, a persistent cough, discomfort or pain while breathing, and coughing of mucus or blood, the focused assessment should primarily concentrate on the respiratory system. The focused assessment, therefore, will involve checking the respiratory rhythm, rate, or depth, observing the tracheal position, monitoring oxygen saturation, and examining the presence of audible sounds, including wheezing, vocalization, and so on.

On the other hand, a comprehensive assessment, which is sometimes called the initial or admissions assessment, is the general and overall assessment conducted, usually by a registered nurse, when a patient arrives or is admitted to a health facility. According to Tammy & Wendy (2020), this type of assessment involves examining the vital signs, health history, psychological information, body systems, as well as the general survey.


Blais K. K., & Hayes, J. (2016). Professional nursing practice: Concepts and perspectives (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Tammy, J. T., & Wendy, J. U. (2020). Nursing admission assessment and examination. Treasure Island, FL: StatPearls Publishing.


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What is the difference between a focused and a comprehensive assessment?…

The nurse receives an adult patient in the outpatient clinic. The physician requested a focused assessment. The patient asked the nurse “what is the difference between a focused and a comprehensive assessment?” The nurse explains that:

What is the difference between .....

What is the difference between …..

  • Paper requires one reference from an English titled, peer-reviewed nursing journal less than five years old. The initial posting also requires a reference from the course textbook. APA format is required. All work must be paraphrased. Direct quotes are not to be used.

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