Application: Analyzing Growth Charts

Analyzing Growth Charts

Media images of starving children vividly reveal the devastating effects of malnourishment. Most nurses do not encounter children at this extreme level of crisis, but they might see patients with abnormal growth rates. Unless abnormal growth is extreme, classifying and detecting abnormal growth rates, which are sometimes indicative of illness or poor nutrition, can be difficult without the proper tools. Growth charts comprise one such tool that can be used to determine whether children are growing normally. For a nurse assessing the health of children, the ability to analyze growth charts is especially valuable.

In this Assignment, you will analyze the growth charts of three pediatric patients under the age of eight years. You use the appropriate clinical growth charts recommended by the CDC to determine if the patients have abnormal growth. You will also identify additional diagnostic tests and assessment tools for identifying possible causes of abnormal growth.

To prepare:

Review the growth chart data provided on Growth Chart 1, Growth Chart 2, and Growth Chart 3 located in this Week’s Learning Resources.
Locate the corresponding growth charts on the CDC website and compare the children’s data to the clinical growth charts.
Determine whether the children have normal or abnormal growth based on the average growth rate. How would you appropriately record this in their growth charts?
Consider your findings. What additional diagnostic tests or assessment tools should be used with each child? Why?

To complete:

Respond to the following in a 3 page paper:

Describe the growth of each child as indicated in his or her Growth Chart provided in this week’s Learning Resources.
Identify which clinical chart you used for each child.
Identify which charts indicate normal and abnormal growth. For each child with abnormal growth, describe the nature of the abnormality. Is the growth abnormally high or low? How extreme is the abnormality?
Explain how you would appropriately record the developmental status of each child in the growth chart.
Analyze the implications for each child with abnormal growth. Identify at least one health condition or problem that could be the cause of the abnormality.
Explain any additional diagnostic tests or assessment tools you would recommend. Justify why those tests and tools would be appropriate.

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