Past Medical History It is important to review patient’s past exposure to carcinogens, such as asbestos, as well as any history of tobacco use. Ask if the patient has any chronic lung diseases, such as tuberculosis or COPD. A family medical history should also be obtained to assess for any history of cancers or respiratory problems.
Medications Review any medications the patient is currently taking, including OTC medications and herbal supplements. It is especially important to note any respiratory medications the patient may be taking, as well as the patient’s response to these medications.
Physical Examination A thorough head to toe assessment is important. Manifestations of lung cancer usually appear late in the disease process. Manifestations of the disease can help determine the type of lung cancer as well as any metastatic spread.
One the first symptoms that bring patients to the doctor’s office is a persistent cough and chest pain. It is important to assess if cough is productive or non productive, if there is any blood tinged sputum present, or any pain in chest. Ask patient how long cough has been present as well as any treatments they have done for cough and response to treatment.
Assess patient for any anorexia, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and recent unexplained weight loss. Ask the patient if they have had any fevers, chills or night sweats.
Lung cancer with mediastianl involvement can lead to cardiac complications, such as pleural effusion , cardiac tamponade, and dysrhythmias. It is important to assess the patient’s blood pressure, jugular vein distention, and heart sounds.
Anxiety It is vital for the nurse to assess the patient and the family for anxiety. Assess the patient’s support system and coping skills.
Review with the patient their understanding of not only the diagnosis of lung cancer but their understanding of the procedures and treatment options. There are several different tests the patient will undergo and it is important that the patient be aware of their plan of care.
Work cited Lewis, Sharon L. (2007). Medical-surgical nursing: assessment and management of clinical problems. St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier.