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Diagnostic and Preventive Care

Subject: Nursing
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Preventive care refers to care services provided when an individual is symptom free and as such, there are no reason justifying that a person is unhealthy (Becker & Gardner, 2012). In most cases, preventive care is provided as a complementary service especially for routine physical checkup.  On the other hand, diagnostic care is what an individual is recommended for when there are observable symptoms or even risk factors. In this case, the doctor or physician would want to diagnose the observable symptoms, for instance, undertaking differential diagnosis.  For the preventive care, some of the services provided include screening tests, routine check-ups, immunizations, especially when one has no symptoms. Conversely, diagnostic care includes such elements or services are tests and procedures for monitoring the condition or an identified disease (Faust & Menzel, 2011). Some of the tools used in diagnosis include ultrasound, radiology, and nuclear medicine tests among others.  However, for preventive and diagnostic care, they can be provided or happen during the same visit. An excellent example is when in a routine check-up, the doctor engages in a discussion about a chronic illness. Then, the tests the doctor will order can be preventive, for instance, using screening mammogram while other tests may be diagnostic, for instance, using cholesterol check-up for an individual having high cholesterol levels or content in the blood (Faust & Menzel, 2011). The need for understanding the inherent difference between diagnostic and preventive care helps in anticipating cost of services, especially when sharing costs for services provided during the same visit. For example, when the two services have been providing in the same visit, then a person pays for diagnostic services like deductible, co-payment, or even co-insurance.

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The common laboratory tests include (Faust & Menzel, 2011)

  • Arthritis testing
  • Blood count testing
  • Medical test
  • Diabetes tests
  • Glucose test
  • Thyroid test
  • Kidney function test
  • Hormone test
  • Hemoglobin test
  • Heart health test

Diagnostic Tests

Mammography: X-rays showing tumors on breasts (NCH, 2017)

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Echocardiography: using sound waves to produce moving picture of valves and heart

Completed Blood Count: Blood taken from arm to measure blood cell count

Colonoscopy: Looking into colon and rectum, long narrow tube bent with a light and fitted with a lens (NCH, 2017)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Like X-ray, helps in seeing inside picture of organs

Computer Axial Tomography: For testing tumors, clots, infections

Electrocardiogram: a test showing the pumping of the heart

Prothrombin Time: Common blood test; measuring time taken for blood clot (NCH, 2017)

Bone Study: X-ray; measuring bone loss

Becker, D.H. & Gardner, L.B. (2012). Prevention in clinical practice. Springer Science & Business Media.

Faust, H. S. & Menzel, P.T. (2011). Prevention Vs. Treatment: What’s the Right Balance? Oxford University Press.

NCH, (2017). Top 10 diagnostic tests. Retrieved from https://littletonhealthcare.org/top_procedures.php

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