It is difficult for a nursing practitioner (NP) to analyze abnormal growth in a child. The reason is that the professional can only visualize extreme abnormalities. By using a growth chart, the NP can effectively assess these developments (Ball, Dains, Flynn, Solomon & Stewart, 2015). Nursing professionals should analyze these graphs to effectively evaluate the health of pediatric patients. In this paper, the author highlights several issues associated with James’ growth chart.
Health Issues and Risks Relevant to the Child
James is experiencing normal physical development. The practitioner arrives at this conclusion by comparing the patient’s statistics with CDC’s growth chart. The boy is slightly below the 5th percentile with regards to stature and weight. However, the NP needs to note that James’ range is lower than that of a normal child his age. He has recorded consistent growth over the years. However, his parents and other stakeholders should make efforts to ensure that the boy does not get underweight. His slightly slower rate of growth can be a result of health disorders, such as constitutional growth delay (CGD) and familial short stature [FSS] (Pavlovich-Danis & Etienne, 2012).
Additional Information Needed by the Professional to Assess James’ Health
The NP needs more information to deal with the child. For example, the professional needs to know James’ eating habits. In addition, the NP requires information on the boy’s family lifestyle (Lifshitz, 2009).
Questions Posed by the Practitioner to Gather Information
The following are some of the questions that the NP will ask the parents to elicit information:
- In your opinion, is your child experiencing a normal growth rate?
- What are some of the factors contributing to slow growth in your son?
- Is there a similar case in the family?
Strategies that the Practitioner can use to Encourage Parents to Become Proactive
The NP will put in place measures to ensure that the child does not become underweight (LeBlond, Brown & DeGowin, 2009). The professional will increase the number of calories consumed by the boy daily (Ball et al., 2015). In addition, the NP will encourage James to increase his daily food intake (Gibbs & Chapman-Novakofski, 2012).
Growth charts help NPs to track the physical development of a patient. Such assessments make it possible for professionals to detect cases of children suffering from nutritional complications.
Response to Colleague’s Post
The colleague analyzed the case of David in their post. Using the CDC age percentiles chart, the NP discovered that the patient’s BMI ranged between 18.1 and 14.9. The author of the post, who is a nursing professional, concluded that the boy is underweight.
There are several additional risks and issues that the NP left out. For example, they should have indicated that the situation puts the boy at the risk of contracting health-related diseases (Ball et al., 2015). In addition, they should have tried to find out the role played by the parents in the weight issue.
The NP posed simple and direct questions to David’s parents. For example, the parents will have no problems getting the meaning of the boy’s normal food intake and whether they complain of being hungry or not. However, the parents are likely to misconstrue the questions to mean that healthy living is all about eating (Lifshitz, 2009). For the NP to address this problem, they should have asked questions about the boy’s lifestyle. Additional questions would include:
- Does David participate in physical activities?
- How is the weight of David’s friends?
An additional strategy will include encouraging David’s parents to make sure that he participates in physical activities. In conclusion, the NP’s post was informative. However, several slight changes are needed to improve it.
Ball, J., Dains, J., Flynn, J., Solomon, B., & Stewart, R. (2015). Seidel’s guide to physical examination (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
Gibbs, H., & Chapman-Novakofski, K. (2012). Exploring nutrition literacy: Attention to assessment and the skills clients need. Health, 4(3), 120-124.
LeBlond, R., Brown, D., & DeGowin, R. (2009). DeGowin’s diagnostic examination (9th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill Medical.
Lifshitz, F. (2009). Nutrition and growth. Journal of Clinical Research in Pediatric Endocrinology, 1(4), 157-163.
Pavlovich-Danis, S., & Etienne, M. (2012). Body fat shapes patients’ health. Web.