KeithRN COVID-19 Case Study

COVID-19 Case Study

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John Taylor, 68 years old

Case Study: Student Fill-in PDF

Primary Concept


Interrelated Concepts (In order of Emphasis)

• Clinical Judgment

NCSBN Clinical Judgment Model

Covered in Case Study

NCLEX Client Need Categories

Covered in Case Study

Step 1: Recognize Cues

Safe and Effective Care Environment

Step 2: Analyze Cues

  • Management of Care

Step 3: Prioritize Hypotheses

  • Safety and Infection Control

Step 4: Generate Solutions

  • Safety and Infection Control

Step 5: Take Action

Health Promotion and Maintenance

Step 6: Evaluate Outcomes

Psychosocial Integrity

Physiological Integrity

  • Basic Care and Comfort

  • Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

  • Reduction of Risk Potential

  • Physiological Adaptation

Initial Triage Assessment in ED

Present Problem

John Taylor is a 68-year-old African-American male with a history of type II diabetes and hypertension who came to the emergency department (ED) triage window because he felt crummy; complaining of a headache, runny nose, feeling more weak, “achy all over” and hot to the touch and sweaty the past two days. When he woke up this morning, he no longer felt hot but began to develop a persistent “nagging cough” that continued to worsen throughout the day. He has difficulty “catching his breath” when he gets up to go the bathroom. John is visibly anxious and asks, “Do I have that killer virus that I hear about on the news?”

Personal/Social History

John lives in a large metropolitan area that has had over three thousand confirmed cases of COVID-19. He has been married to Maxine, his wife of 45 years and is retired police officer and active in his local church.


  1. What data from the histories are RELEVANT and must be NOTICED as clinically significant by the nurse?
    (NCSBN: Step 1 Recognize cues/NCLEX: Reduction of Risk Potential)
    • RELEVANT Data from Present Problem » Clinical Significance
    • RELEVANT Data from Social History » Clinical Significance
  2. What additional clarifying questions does the triage nurse need to ask John to determine if his cluster of physical symptoms are consistent with COVID-19?
  3. Based on the clinical data collected, identify what measures need to be immediately implemented using the following clinical pathway.
  4. What type of isolation precautions does the nurse need to implement if COVID-19 is suspected? What specific measures must be implemented to prevent transmission?
    • Type of Isolation and its Implementation Components
  5. What are the six steps in the chain of infection? Apply what is known about COVID-19 to each step.
  6. Is this patient a susceptible host? What step in the chain of infection does proper isolation precautions impact? Why?

Patient Care Begins

John is brought back to a room. As the nurse responsible for his care, you collect the following clinical data.

Current Vital Signs

T: 100.3°F/38.8 °C (oral)

P: 118 (regular)

R: 20 (regular)

BP: 164/88; MAP: 113

O2 sat: 92% room air

P-Q-R-S-T Pain Assessment

Provoking/Palliative: “moving makes it worse”

Quality: “achy”

Region/Radiation: “all over”

Severity: 5/10

Timing: continuous


  1. What VS data are RELEVANT and must be NOTICED as clinically significant by the nurse?
    (NCSBN: Step 1 Recognize cues/NCLEX: Reduction of Risk Potential Reduction of Risk Potential/Health Promotion and Maintenance)
    • RELEVANT VS Data » Clinical Significance
  2. What body system(s) will you assess most thoroughly performing a FOCUSED assessment based on the primary/priority problem? Identify correlating specific nursing assessments.
    (NCLEX: Reduction of Risk Potential/Physiologic Adaptation)
    • PRIORITY Body System » PRIORITY Nursing Assessments

Current FOCUSED Nursing Assessment


Appears anxious, body tense


Alert & oriented to person, place, time, and situation (x4), generalized weakness


Head normocephalic with symmetry of all facial features. Lips, tongue, and oral mucosa pinkand moist.


Breath sounds fine dry crackles bilat. with diminished aeration on inspiration and expiration in all lobes anteriorly, posteriorly, and laterally, non-labored respiratory effort, episodic non-productive cough


No edema, heart sounds regular, pulses strong, equal with palpation at radial/pedal/post-tibial landmarks, brisk cap refill. Heart tones audible and regular, S1 and S2 noted over A-P-T-M cardiac landmarks with no abnormal beats or murmurs. No JVD noted at 30-45 degrees.






Skin hot, dry, intact, normal color for ethnicity. Skin integrity intact, skin turgor elastic, no tenting present.


  1. What assessment data is RELEVANT and must be NOTICED as clinically significant by the nurse?
    (NCSBN: Step 1 Recognize cues/NCLEX: Reduction of Risk Potential Reduction of Risk Potential/Health Promotion & Maintenance)
    • RELEVANT Assessment Data » Clinical Significance:
  2. Interpreting clinical data collected, what problems are possible? Which problem is the PRIORITY? Why?
    (NCSBN: Step 2: Analyze cues/Step 3: Prioritize hypotheses/NCLEX: Management of Care)
    • Problems » Priority Problem » Rationale
  3. What nursing priority(ies) and goal will guide how the nurse RESPONDS to formulate a plan of care?
    (NCSBN: Step 4 Generate solutions/Step 5: Take action/NCLEX: Management of Care)
    • Nursing PRIORITY:
    • GOAL of Care:
    • Nursing Interventions » Rationale » Expected Outcome:

Caring and the “Art” of Nursing


  1. What is the patient likely experiencing/feeling right now in this situation? What can you do to engage yourself with this patient’s experience, and show that they matter to you as a person?
    (NCLEX: Psychosocial Integrity)
    • What Patient is Experiencing » How to Engage:

About KeithRN

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Last updated: September 28, 2020