Nursing: Cardiac Special Topics: Evaluation of Abdominal Pain, A Case Study Approach

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About the Course

Abdominal pain is a common reason patients present in an acute-care setting, representing around 10 million emergency department visits in 2013, according to the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Abdominal pain can be accompanied by other symptoms or may exist in isolation. Using a case study approach, this education program provides information to help nurses accurately evaluate abdominal pain and take appropriate nursing action.


The target audience for this education program is nurses who want to improve their ability to evaluate abdominal pain and intervene accordingly.

Learning Objectives
  • Describe the clinical significance of abdominal pain.
  • Evaluate key features of the patient's history.
  • Discuss the differences and differentials in the two patient exams.
  • Work through the differential to facilitate diagnosis.
About the Author

Leslie E. Janik, MSN, ARNP, ACNP-BC is an instructor of medicine in the College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida. She has been a board-certified acute-care nurse practitioner in the division of cardiovascular diseases at Mayo Clinic since 2005, when she helped establish a cardiovascular inpatient service. She works closely with the fellowship and residency programs and has assisted in developing protocols for the cardiology hospital and clinic practice. Ms. Janik is also part of the administrative team within her department and is supervisor to the cardiovascular advanced practice providers. She received her BSN from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and her MSN with an acute-care specialization from the University of Florida. Her nursing experience included neurology, heart and lung transplantation, and cardiology. In addition to her current role in cardiology, she has worked as an acute-care nurse practitioner in both neurology and plastic surgery. She is a member of the Chest Pain Committee at Mayo Clinic, Florida, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and has been published in the online journal Advance for NPs & PAs.

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