Assignment: Advance Practice Nurse

Assignment: Advance Practice Nurse

Assignment: Advance Practice Nurse

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This week, complete the Aquifer case titled “Case #3: 65-year-old female with insomnia – Mrs. Gomez”

Apply information from the Aquifer Case Study to answer the following discussion questions:

· Discuss the Mrs. Gomez’s history that would be pertinent to her difficulty sleeping. Include chief complaint, HPI, Social, Family and Past medical history that would be important to know.

· Describe the physical exam and diagnostic tools to be used for Mrs. Gomez. Are there any additional you would have liked to be included that were not?

Assignment: Advance Practice Nurse

· Please list 3 differential diagnoses for Mrs. Gomez and explain why you chose them. What was your final diagnosis and how did you make the determination?

· What plan of care will Mrs. Gomez be given at this visit, include drug therapy and treatments; what is the patient education and follow-up?

You are doing an eight-week clerkship in a family medicine practice. Christina, the medical assistant, hands you the progress note for the next patient, which identifies the patient as Mrs. Gomez, “a 65-year-old woman who is here today reporting that she can’t sleep.”

Dr. Lee, your preceptor, fills you in: “Mrs. Gomez has been a patient here for several years. Difficulty sleeping is a new issue for her. Her past medical history is significant for hypertension and diabetes. Generally, she has been doing well, although I notice that her last hemoglobin A1c has climbed to 8.7%.”


What are common causes of insomnia in the elderly?



Yaremchuk K. Sleep disorders in the elderly. Clin Geriatr Med. 2018 34(2):205-216. doi: 10.1016/j.cger.2018.01.008.






Common causes of insomnia in the elderly:

1. Environmental problems

2. Drugs/alcohol/caffeine

3. Sleep apnea

4. Parasomnias: restless leg syndrome/periodic leg movements/REM sleep behavior disorder

5. Disturbances in the sleep-wake cycle

6. Psychiatric disorders, primarily depression and anxiety

7. Symptomatic cardiorespiratory disease (asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/congestive heart failure)

8. Pain or pruritus

9. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

10. Hyperthyroidism

11. Advanced sleep phase syndrome (ASPS)


Common Causes of Insomnia in the Elderly

Issues that may lead to an environment that is not conducive to sleep.

· Specific examples include: noise or uncomfortable bedding.

· You can teach the patient sleep hygiene techniques that will increase the likelihood of a restful night’s sleep.

Question the use of prescription, over-the-counter, alternative, and recreational drugs that might be affecting sleep.

Patients should be counseled to avoid caffeine and alcohol for four to six hours before bedtime.
Sleep apnea is common in the elderly, occurring in 20% to 70% of elderly patients.

Obstruction of breathing results in frequent arousal that the patient is typically not aware of; however, a bed partner or family member may report loud snoring or cessation of breathing during sleep.
In restless leg syndrome, the patient experiences an irresistible urge to move the legs, often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations.

In periodic leg movement and REM sleep behavior disorder, the patient experiences involuntary leg movements while falling asleep and during sleep respectively.

As in sleep apnea, the sleeper is often unaware of these behaviors and a bed partner or family member may need to be asked about these movements.
Disturbances in the sleep-wake cycle include jet lag and shift work.

Patients with depression and anxiety commonly present with insomnia.

Any patient presenting with insomnia should be screened for these disorders.
Patients with shortness of breath due to cardiorespiratory disorders often report that these symptoms keep them awake.

Pain or pruritus may keep patients awake at night.

Those with GERD may report heartburn, throat pain, or breathing problems.

These patients may also have trouble identifying what awakens them.
Detailed questioning may be needed to elicit the symptoms of this disorder.
Elderly patients with hyperthyroidism frequently do not present with typical symptoms such as tachycardia or weight loss, and laboratory studies may be required to detect this problem.

Circadian rhythms change, with older adults tending to get sleepy earlier in the night. In advanced sleep phase syndrome (ASPS), this has progressed to the point where the patient becomes drowsy at 6 to 7 p.m. If they go to sleep at this hour, they sleep a normal seven to eight hours, waking at 3 or 4 a.m. However, if they try to stay up later, their advanced sleep/wake rhythm still causes them to awaken at 3 or 4 a.m. This can be difficult to distiguish from insomnia.



Dr. Lee tells you, “Poor sleeping habits can also cause insomnia. Here is a handout on sleep hygiene. For some patients, simply correcting their sleep habits by following these tips will correct their quality of sleep.”

You review the handout.


Good Sleep Hygiene

Your Personal Habits

· Fix a bedtime and an awakening time. The body “gets used to” falling asleep at a certain time, but only if this is relatively fixed. Even if you are retired or not working, this is an essential component of good sleeping habits.

· Avoid napping during the day. If you nap throughout the day, it is no wonder that you will not be able to sleep at night. The late afternoon for most people is a “sleepy time.” Many people will take a nap at that time. This is generally not a bad thing to do, provided you limit the nap to 30 to 45 minutes and can sleep well at night.

· Avoid alcohol four to six hours before bedtime. Many people believe that alcohol helps them sleep. While alcohol has an immediate sleep-inducing effect, a few hours later as the alcohol levels in the blood start to fall, there is a stimulant or wake-up effect.

· Avoid caffeine four to six hours before bedtime. This includes caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and many sodas, as well as chocolate, so be careful.

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.

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