NURS 6512 Assessing the Genitalia and Rectum

NURS 6512 Assessing the Genitalia and Rectum

NURS 6512 Assessing the Genitalia and Rectum

Assessment of the genitalia and rectum is vital in depicting genitourinary and gastrointestinal abnormalities respectively. A rectal examination is necessary to complete an abdominal exam. Meanwhile, assessment of the genitalia is usually sensitive and must be done in the presence of a chaperone. The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential history, physical exam, and differential diagnosis based on a case scenario of T.S. a 32-year-old woman who presents with dysuria, frequency, and urgency for two days. She is sexually active and has had a new partner for the past three months.

My experience with my leadership so far has been mostly positive. There was one instance that I will never forget when this executive leader, who is supposed to hold one of the highest positions in the hospital, came to visit our unit during our morning huddles. We discussed the new staffing method the hospital is about to implement, known as the NHPPD (Nursing actual Hours Per Patient Day) method. Of course, questions about patient acuities came up. Our unit is known for caring for acute medical psyche geriatric patients and is the designated acute medical-surgical- COVID unit. Our concern, of course, is patient acuities. The presenter did not answer many of our questions directly or clearly. Finally, the executive leader said, “If you are not happy with the staffing method, the door is open for you.” For us staff, it simply means shut up and suck it up, or you may be free to resign. I understand that being a leader is stressful, and you may not be able to please everybody, but still, you are being looked up to, and your knowledge, decisions, and attitude as a leader your subordinates are following as an inspiration. Patience is a virtue. A leader should be a force to calm down and bring balance. People look up to you for answers and solutions if there is an issue. Clearly, that leader did not show patience or compassion to her staff.


A triad of urgency, frequency, and dysuria characterizes a pathology that is most likely in the urinary tract. Consequently, it is essential to inquire about associated symptoms such as hematuria, fever, and malaise. Association with malaise and fever is common in urinary tract infections. Similarly, it is important to inquire about the presence of any abnormal vaginal discharge, and burning sensation during urination since she is sexually active and a sexually transmitted infection might be the cause of her symptoms. Likewise, changes in the smell and color of the urine must be elicited as well as associated suprapubic pain. Related to sexually transmitted infections, it is crucial to inquire about the number of sexual partners if similar symptoms have manifested in her partner or the use of protection during intercourse (Garcia & Wray, 2022).

Similarly, her last menstrual period must be known to determine if pregnant as this will impact the management (Bono et al., 2022). Additionally, a history of medication use, alcohol, smoking, and use of illicit drugs must be elicited. A history of contact with an individual with a chronic cough or TB prior to the occurrence of the previous symptoms must be elicited as urogenital TB may present similarly. Finally, it is crucial to inquire about any history of trauma or recent urethral catheterization as these are common risk factors for urinary tract infections.


The vital signs are mandatory in this patient as it is a pelvic exam. In the general exam, the mental and nutrition status of the patient must be noted. Additionally, a complete abdominal exam must be conducted as the patient has flank pain and suprapubic tenderness. Palpation of the abdomen for any masses and percussion of the flank for costovertebral angle tenderness must be done (Bono et al., 2022). Similarly, complete respiratory and cardiovascular exams must be conducted as a routine during the assessment of any patient. Finally, a digital rectal examination must be performed to exclude associated rectal abnormalities.


In addition to urinalysis, STI, and pap smear testing, a complete blood count and urine culture must be conducted as the patient presents with signs of infection. Similarly, a pregnancy test must be conducted as this may complicate urinary tract infections. Additionally, she has no appetite and therefore a random blood sugar must be done to exclude hypoglycemia. Similarly, urea, creatinine, and electrolyte must be conducted to check the renal function as the patient has flank pain. Finally, Inflammatory markers such as ESR and CRP as well as blood cultures must be done as the patient has flank pain which may indicate pyelonephritis (Bono et al., 2022). Imaging tests are not necessary for the diagnosis of lower UTI. However, the patient has flank pain, and therefore, a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis with or without IV contrast as well as an ultrasound of the kidneys and bladder must be done to identify any pathologies and outline the architecture of the kidney and bladder (Belyayeva & Jeong, 2022)

The possible diagnoses include a urinary tract infection and a sexually-transmitted infection. Urinary tract infections refer to the infection of the bladder, urethra, ureters, or kidneys (Bono et al., 2022). UTIs are more common in women, a consequence of a short urethra and proximity of the anal and genital regions (Bono et al., 2022). A triad of frequency, dysuria, and urgency collectively defines the irritative lower urinary tract symptoms (Bono et al., 2022). Similarly, suprapubic tenderness is a key feature of lower urinary tract infections. However, the patient is also feverish and has flank pain which also denotes the potential for involvement of the upper urinary tract (Bono et al., 2022). T.S is also sexually active, a risk factor for urinary tract infection.

A sexually transmitted infection is another possible diagnosis. T.S is sexually active and she has had her new partner for the last three months which is a key risk factor for this condition (Garcia & Wray, 2022). Most STIs present with suprapubic pain. Most STIs are asymptomatic and if symptomatic manifests with urethral discharge, vaginal discharge, pruritus, and pain (Garcia & Wray, 2022). T.S was negative for the aforementioned features.

Other differential diagnoses include pyelonephritis, interstitial cystitis, and urethritis due to an STI. Pyelonephritis is of the renal pelvis and parenchyma (Belyayeva & Jeong, 2022). It is usually a complication of ascending bacterial infection of the bladder and manifests principally with frequency, dysuria, urgency, fever, malaise, flank pain, and suprapubic pain (Belyayeva & Jeong, 2022). Interstitial cystitis is a chronic noninfectious idiopathic cystitis associated with recurrent suprapubic pain (Daniels et al., 2018). It presents with urgency, frequency, suprapubic discomfort, and pain relieved by voiding. T.S has some of these features although the gradual onset of symptomatology and a duration of more than six weeks is required for the diagnosis of this condition (Daniels et al., 2018). Finally, urethritis secondary to an STI may present in females with only frequency, urgency, and dysuria with minimal or no vaginal discharge (Young et al., 2022).


Assessment of the genitalia and rectum is sensitive and may help identify abnormalities of the rectum and genitourinary tract. Most abnormalities of the genitourinary system particularly UTIs and STIs can be diagnosed clinically. Consequently, a comprehensive history and physical examination are mandatory. Most UTIs are common in females. Pregnancy must always be excluded in a patient presenting with features suggestive of a UTI.


Belyayeva, M., & Jeong, J. M. (2022). Acute Pyelonephritis.

Bono, M. J., Leslie, S. W., & Reygaert, W. C. (2022). Urinary Tract Infection.

Daniels, A. M., Schulte, A. R., & Herndon, C. M. (2018). Interstitial cystitis: An update on the disease process and treatment. Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy32(1), 49–58.

Garcia, M. R., & Wray, A. A. (2022). Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Young, A., Toncar, A., & Wray, A. A. (2022). Urethritis.

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Patients are frequently uncomfortable discussing with healthcare professional’s issues that involve the genitalia and rectum; however, gathering an adequate history and properly conducting a physical exam are vital. Examining case studies of genital and rectal abnormalities can help prepare advanced practice nurses to accurately assess patients with problems in these areas.
In this Lab Assignment, you will analyze an Episodic note case study that describes abnormal findings in patients seen in a clinical setting. You will consider what history should be collected from the patients, as well as which physical exams and diagnostic tests should be conducted. You will also formulate a differential diagnosis with several possible conditions.

To Prepare

• Review the Episodic note case study your instructor provides you for this week’s Assignment. Please see the “Course Announcements” section of the classroom for your Episodic note case study.
• Based on the Episodic note case study:
o Review this week’s Learning Resources, and consider the insights they provide about the case study. Refer to Chapter 3 of the Sullivan resource to guide you as you complete your Lab Assignment.
o Search the Walden library or the Internet for evidence-based resources to support your answers to the questions provided.
o Consider what history would be necessary to collect from the patient in the case study.
o Consider what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate to gather more information about the patient’s condition. How would the results be used to make a diagnosis?
o Identify at least five possible conditions that may be considered in a differential diagnosis for the patient.

The Lab Assignment

Using evidence-based resources from your search, answer the following questions and support your answers using current evidence from the literature.
• Analyze the subjective portion of the note. List additional information that should be included in the documentation.
• Analyze the objective portion of the note. List additional information that should be included in the documentation.
• Is the assessment supported by the subjective and objective information? Why or why not?
• Would diagnostics be appropriate for this case, and how would the results be used to make a diagnosis?
• Would you reject/accept the current diagnosis? Why or why not? Identify three possible conditions that may be considered as a differential diagnosis for this patient. Explain your reasoning using at least three different references from current evidence-based literature.

By Day 7 of Week 10

Submit your Assignment.
Submission and Grading Information
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• Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK10Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
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• Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “WK10Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
• If applicable: From the Plagiarism Tools area, click the checkbox for I agree to submit my paper(s) to the Global Reference Database.
• Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.

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Submit your Week 10 Assignment draft and review the originality report.

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 10

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What’s Coming Up in Module 4?

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Next week, you will consider how evidence-based practice guidelines and ethical considerations factor into health assessments. You specifically explore evidence-based practice guidelines and ethical considerations for specific scenarios.

Week 11 Final Exam

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Next week, you take your Final Exam, which will cover the topics and resources from Weeks 7, 8, 9, and 10 for this course. Please take the time to review and plan your time accordingly so that you may be better prepared for your exam.
Next Module

To go to the next Module:
Module 4

Week 10: Special Examinations—Breast, Genital, Prostate, and Rectal

One critical element of any physical exam is the ability of the examiner to put the patient at ease. By putting the patient at ease, nurses are more likely to glean quality, meaningful information that will help the patient get the best care possible. When someone feels safe, listened to, and cared about, exams often go more smoothly. This is especially true when dealing with issues concerning breasts, genitals, prostates, and rectums, which are subjects that many patients find difficult to talk about. As a result, it is important to gain a firm understanding of how to gain vital information and perform the necessary assessment techniques in as non-invasive a manner as possible.
For this week, you explore how to assess problems with the breasts, genitalia, rectum, and prostate.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

• Evaluate abnormal findings on the genitalia and rectum
• Apply concepts, theories, and principles relating to health assessment techniques and diagnoses for the breasts, genitalia, prostate, and rectum

Learning Resources

Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)

Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Seidel’s guide to physical examination: An interprofessional approach (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

• Chapter 17, “Breasts and Axillae”

This chapter focuses on examining the breasts and axillae. The authors describe the examination procedures and the anatomy and physiology of breasts.

• Chapter 19, “Female Genitalia”

In this chapter, the authors explain how to conduct an examination of female genitalia. The chapter also describes the form and function of female genitalia.

• Chapter 20, “Male Genitalia”

The authors explain the biology of the penis, testicles, epididymides, scrotum, prostate gland, and seminal vesicles. Additionally, the chapter explains how to perform an exam of these areas.

• Chapter 21, “Anus, Rectum, and Prostate”

This chapter focuses on performing an exam of the anus, rectum, and prostate. The authors also explain the anatomy and physiology of the anus, rectum, and prostate.
Dains, J. E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. (2019). Advanced health assessment and clinical diagnosis in primary care (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
Credit Line: Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Diagnosis in Primary Care, 6th Edition by Dains, J.E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. Copyright 2019 by Mosby. Reprinted by permission of Mosby via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Chapter 5, “Amenorrhea”
Amenorrhea, or the absence of menstruation, is the focus of this chapter. The authors include key questions to ask patients when taking histories and explain what to look for in the physical exam.

Chapter 6, “Breast Lumps and Nipple Discharge”
This chapter focuses on the important topic of breast lumps and nipple discharge. Because breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis. Information in the chapter includes key questions to ask and what to look for in the physical exam.

Chapter 7, “Breast Pain”
Determining the cause of breast pain can be difficult. This chapter examines how to determine the likely cause of the pain through diagnostic tests, physical examination, and careful analysis of a patient’s health history.

Chapter 27, “Penile Discharge”
The focus of this chapter is on how to diagnose the causes of penile discharge. The authors include specific questions to ask when gathering a patient’s history to narrow down the likely diagnosis. They also give advice on performing a focused physical exam.

Chapter 36, “Vaginal Bleeding”
In this chapter, the causes of vaginal bleeding are explored. The authors focus on symptoms outside the regular menstrual cycle. The authors discuss key questions to ask the patient as well as specific physical examination procedures and laboratory studies that may be useful in reaching a diagnosis.

Chapter 37, “Vaginal Discharge and Itching”
This chapter examines the process of identifying causes of vaginal discharge and itching. The authors include questions on the characteristics of the discharge, the possibility of the issues being the result of a sexually transmitted infection, and how often the discharge occurs. A chart highlights potential diagnoses based on patient history, physical findings, and diagnostic studies.

Sullivan, D. D. (2019). Guide to clinical documentation (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.

• Chapter 3, “SOAP Notes” (Previously read in Week 8)

Cucci, E., Santoro, A., DiGesu, C., DiCerce, R., & Sallustio, G. (2015). Sclerosing adenosis of the breast: Report of two cases and review of the literature. Polish Journal of Radiology, 80, 122–127. doi:10.12659/PJR.892706. Retrieved from

Sabbagh , C., Mauvis, F., Vecten, A., Ainseba, N., Cosse, C., Diouf, M., & Regimbeau, J. M. (2014). What is the best position for analyzing the lower and middle rectum and sphincter function in a digital rectal examination? A randomized, controlled study in men. Digestive and Liver Disease, 46(12), 1082–1085. doi:10.1016/j.dld.2014.08.045

Westhoff , C. L., Jones, H. E., & Guiahi, M. (2011). Do new guidelines and technology make the routine pelvic examination obsolete? Journal of Women’s Health, 20(1), 5–10.

This article describes the benefits of new technology and guidelines for pelvic exams. The authors also detail which guidelines and technology may become obsolete.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Retrieved from

This section of the CDC website provides a range of information on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The website includes reports on STDs, related projects and initiatives, treatment information, and program tools.

Document: Final Exam Review (Word document)

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NURS 6512 Assessing the Genitalia and Rectum

Optional Resource

LeBlond, R. F., Brown, D. D., & DeGowin, R. L. (2014). DeGowin’s diagnostic examination (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill Medical.

• Chapter 8, “The Chest: Chest Wall, Pulmonary, and Cardiovascular Systems; The Breasts” (Section 2, “The Breasts,” pp. 434–444)

Section 2 of this chapter focuses on the anatomy and physiology of breasts. The section provides descriptions of breast examinations and common breast conditions.

• Chapter 11, “The Female Genitalia and Reproductive System” (pp. 541–562)

In this chapter, the authors provide an overview of the female reproductive system. The authors also describe symptoms of disorders in the reproductive system.

• Chapter 12, “The Male Genitalia and Reproductive System” (pp. 563–584)

The authors of this chapter detail the anatomy of the male reproductive system. Additionally, the authors describe how to conduct an exam of the male reproductive system.

• Review of Chapter 9, “The Abdomen, Perineum, Anus, and Rectosigmoid” (pp. 445–527)

Required Media (click to expand/reduce)

Special Examinations – Breast, Genital, Prostate, and Rectal – Week 10 (14m)
Online media for Seidel’s Guide to Physical Examination
It is highly recommended that you access and view the resources included with the course text, Seidel’s Guide to Physical Examination. Focus on the videos and animations in Chapters 16 and 18–20 that relate to special examinations, including breast, genital, prostate, and rectal. Refer to the Week 4 Learning Resources area for access instructions on

Assessment is one of the skills that nurses should possess in their practice. Nurses use their assessment knowledge and skills in developing accurate diagnoses and plans of care for their patients. The assessment skills that nurses often use in their practice include history taking and physical examination such as observation, palpation, percussion, and auscultation. Assessment results also guide the evaluation of care given to the patients. Nurses use evaluation information to determine the accuracy of their diagnoses, plans, and interventions used to address the care needs of their patients. Therefore, this paper is an examination of a case study of client who presented to the clinic with genitourinary problem. The client came with a history of external pumps in her genital area, which are painless and rough. The history obtained from her shows that she had the last pap smear test three years ago, which was normal. The patient does not have any significant medical, family or surgical history. Therefore, the paper examines the subjective and objective data that should be obtained for the patient, diagnostic investigations and differential diagnoses for the client.

Additional Subjective Data

The nurse should focus on obtaining additional subjective data from the patient besides those in the case snapshot. The additional subjective data will guide the development of accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for the client. The nurse should obtain the information about additional symptoms that are associated with the external pumps on her genitalia (Stephen & Skillen, 2020). The nurse should obtain information such as size, shape, any discharge, or changes in the pumps that might have occurred over the past in terms of appearance. The nurse should also obtain additional information about any history of similar pumps in the past. A history of closely related pumps of the genital area could guide the development of diagnoses such as warts in the patient. There is also the need for the nurse to obtain information related to medication use by the patient. A history of medication uses such as those used in managing the pumps could aid in determining the cause of the problem (Stephen & Skillen, 2020). History on medication use could also guide the determination of whether the pumps are attributable to side effects or adverse reactions to a drug.

Moreover, the nurse should obtain information about the use of any irritants in the past that might have caused the pump. For example, information about the types of soaps that the patient uses should be obtained. The client should also be asked about her sexual preferences. This will provide information about her sexual habits, which might have led to the development of the pumps. The effect of the pumps on the self-perception of the client should also be obtained. The nurse should try to rate the effect of the pumps on her self-image and self-esteem using an appropriate rating scale (Forbes & Watt, 2020). The additional subjective data that may be needed include history of skin problems such as eczema, menstrual history, and occupational history to determine any risk factors in her workplace place.

Additional Objective Data

Additional objective data should also be obtained from the client to increase the accuracy of the diagnosis. The nurse should have performed a rectal examination. The examination could have provided clues such as the presence of hemorrhoids or anal fissures. The nurse should have also provided information about the general appearance of the client. The general appearance could have provided clues on the social, emotional and physical impact of the pumps on the client (Cox, 2019). The nurse should have also performed head to toe examination of the client. The examination could have included the assessment of the skin to determine the existence of undetected skin lesions. The nurse should have also examined the oral cavity for any lesions, neck for inflamed lymph nodes and neck rigidity. The nurse should have also assessed the chest for any abnormal findings such as appearance, shape, or palpitations on auscultation (Champagne et al., 2017). The above information could have guided the accuracy of the diagnoses made by the nurse.

Whether Subjective and Objective Data Support the Assessment

The assessment is supported by subjective and objective data. Subjective data is the data that the patient provides concerning her experience with the health problem. The information is based on the perceived experiences by the patient and the management of the health problem. Subjective data provides the basis of assessment and physical examinations of the patient. The examples of subjective data that support the assessment include the client’s complaints, history of the complains, history of any vaginal discharge, her Pap smear examinations, and any significant past medical, surgical and family history. Objective data on the other hand is the data that the nurse obtains using assessment and physical examination techniques. The data is not based on the subjective experiences of the patient with the disease but the physiological changes in the patient due to the disease. Objective data is used to validate the subjective data (Perry et al., 2021). The examples of objective data in the case study include vital signs, auscultation of the heart and lungs and the observation of the genitalia. The diagnostic investigations that were ordered also form part of the objective data that supports the assessment.


The development of accurate diagnosis of the client’s problem can be achieved by performing a number of diagnostic investigations. One of them is skin scrap. A scrap of the pumps can be obtained for laboratory examination. The other investigation is tzank smear to test for herpes simplex. The client should be tested for syphilis using diagnostics such as Darkfield microscopy or enzyme immunoassay (Perry et al., 2021).

Current Diagnosis

The current diagnosis of chancre is accurate. Patients with chancre present with symptoms similar to those of the client in the case study. For example, the ulcers are asymptomatic and can last for a period of up to six weeks (Cox, 2019).

Differential Diagnoses

One of the differential diagnoses that should be considered for the patient in the case study is contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is a skin condition that is characterized by symptoms such as the presence of rashes, which are dry, scaly and cracked. It is however the least likely due to the absence of itchiness and oozing or crusting of the rashes. The second differential diagnosis is syphilis. The client has a history of multiple sexual partners, which predisposes her to syphilis. Patients with syphilis also show skin rashes such as chancre in the early stages of syphilis. The last differential diagnosis is herpes simplex. Patients with herpes simplex may have symptoms such as rashes in the genitals


The diagnosis of chancre in the case study is accurate. Additional subjective and objective data should be obtained to come up with an accurate diagnosis. Differential diagnoses such as syphilis, herpes simplex, and contact dermatitis should however be considered. In addition, further diagnostic investigations should be performed to come up with an accurate diagnosis.


Champagne, B. J., Steele, S. R., Hendren, S. K., Bakaki, P. M., Roberts, P. L., Delaney, C. P., … & MacRae, H. M. (2017). The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons assessment tool for performance of laparoscopic colectomy. Diseases of the Colon & Rectum, 60(7), 738-744.

Cox, C. L. (2019). Physical Assessment for Nurses and Healthcare Professionals. John Wiley & Sons.


Forbes, H., & Watt, E. (2020). Jarvis’s Health Assessment and Physical Examination – E-Book: Australian and New Zealand. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Kohtz, C., Brown, S. C., Williams, R., & O’Connor, P. A. (2017). Physical assessment techniques in nursing education: a replicated study. Journal of Nursing Education, 56(5), 287-291.

Perry, A. G., Potter, P. A., Ostendorf, W., & Laplante, N. (2021). Clinical Nursing Skills and Techniques—E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Stephen, T. C., & Skillen, D. L. (2020). Canadian Nursing Health Assessment. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.