Essay Writing

Describe the Dual Process Theory and Reasoning Process and how it applies to making decisions for the advanced practice nurse. 

Case: 1

Chief Complaint: “Pain in Right Side” A 40-year-old man presents to his primary care provider (PCP) with right upper quadrant (RUQ) pain for 2 days. The pain is described as “sore” and rated 4 on a 1 to 10 pain scale. The pain is intermittent and not worsening. He reports food does not seem to make it better or worse. No nausea or vomiting or diarrhea, or constipation is reported. 

Vital signs: heart rate, 75; blood pressure, 122/78; respiration rate, 15; afebrile. 

Examination: No acute distress. Abdomen: mildly tender on palpation at RUQ; no masses, hepatomegaly, or splenomegaly. 

Diagnosis: Gallbladder disease. 

Plan: Abdominal ultrasound with reflexive cholescintigraphy (hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid) scan within 1 week. The patient was instructed to call the provider if worsening symptoms occur. He is also told to avoid any fatty foods or alcohol consumption. The patient is agreeable to the plan. 

Follow-up: Two days after the initial visit, the patient calls his PCP with worsening RUQ pain. Ultrasound imaging was scheduled for later that day. The patient then started having shortness of breath at home and went to the local emergency department (ED). Computed tomography angiography of the chest revealed a right-sided pulmonary embolism. The patient had no family history of clotting disorders and no recent surgery, immobilization, or travel. The patient had been on testosterone injections for several years for low testosterone levels, and this was not updated in his medical record at his PC

Case 2

Chief Complaint: “Fever and Sleepy” A 3-year-old girl presents with her mother to a walk-in clinic with fever, nasal drainage, and fatigue for 2 days. During the examination, she was observed hiding her head in her mother’s chest. 

The presentation occurred during flu season. The clinician had 6 positive flu tests with similar symptoms that day, but most included a cough. 

Vital signs: heart rate, 125; respiration rate, 20; blood pressure, 100/72; temperature, 100.8F. 

Examination: Lungs clear, heart rate regular, no murmur. Head, eyes, ears, nose, and throat: normocephalic, conjunctivae clear, tympanic membrane without bulging or redness, pharynx normal, nares normal with clear drainage, tonsils 1þ, no erythema or exudate. The patient did not want to look at the clinician in a lit room. The patient was lethargic and had limited tearing when crying. Rapid flu test: Negative. 

Diagnosis: Presumptive seasonal influenza. 

Plan: Supportive care, including encouraging fluids, Over counter acetaminophen for fever, and age-appropriate antiviral medication for the flu, was prescribed. 

Follow-up: Parents could not keep her fever down over the next 1 day, and she progressively became more lethargic. The patient was taken to the ED, and viral meningitis and dehydration were diagnosed. The patient spent several days in the hospital but did completely recover.

  1. Describe the Dual Process Theory and Reasoning Process and how it applies to making decisions for the advanced practice nurse. 
  2. What are cognitive dispositions to respond? How are these applied in the APN setting? 
  3. Describe cognitive debiasing.
  4. Describe how Type 1 (System 1) and Type 2 (System 2) processes and strategies can be applied to each case to help the NP make decisions and to decrease potential diagnostic errors. 
  5. What considerations for change to practice should the NP consider in each situation to decrease the chance of future diagnostic and care decisions? 

Please be sure to adhere to the following when posting your weekly discussions: all discussion posts must be a minimum of 250 words, references must be cited in APA format 7th Edition. They must include a minimum of 2 scholarly resources published within the past 5-7 years. 

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