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Clinical issues 

Clinical issues
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date: 09 May 2021

History taking and examining the patient are essential to making an accurate diagnosis. A thorough medical history is key to the first step towards a diagnosis and will inform the examination and determine appropriate investigations. A clinical history taking can guide the practitioner to a diagnosis whereas examination and investigations merely confirm or refute that considered diagnosis. This chapter covers all aspects of assessing the musculoskeletal nursing patient. It starts by guiding the reader through the essentials of a good consultation and history taking, alongside practical questions to ask and how to conduct general examinations. It then goes on to cover examinations for each part of the body, including the general principles of joint examinations and the physical examination of gait, arms, legs, and spine (GALS).

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