Asthma Case Study


Prepare your students for licensure and real-world practice with this salient scenario that contextualizes nursing care and priority setting with a pediatric patient with an asthmatic exacerbation.

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Case Study Scenario:

Jared Johnson is a 10 year-old African-American boy with a history of moderate persistent asthma…In the walk-in clinic Jared is alert, speaking in short sentences due to breathlessness at rest. He has coarse expiratory wheezes throughout both lung fields with decreased breath sounds at the right base.  His oxygen saturation on room air is 90%.

His color is ashen and he has dark circles under his eyes. He is sitting upright and using his accessory chest muscles to breath and has moderate intercostal and substernal retractions.  He is complaining of tightness in his chest. Jared was diagnosed with asthma at age 6 years and has three prior hospitalizations for asthma with one admission to the pediatric intensive care unit. He has never had to be intubated with these episodes. 

Each case study has two levels of complexity to use at a fundamental or advanced level to strengthen and develop clinical judgment skills!

  • SKINNY Reasoning level: Concise and versatile level that can be used in class and clinical post-conference to apply knowledge and make learning active!
    • Has 2 parts-2 pages each
    • Basic clinical reasoning skills include noticing what is most important, interpreting its meaning, and priority interventions
  • UNFOLDING Reasoning level: Increased complexity that is best suited for advanced students or clinical replacement activity.
    • 8-10 pages in length
    • Higher-level clinical reasoning skills including problem recognition, SBAR communication, and an unfolding change of status

Why KeithRN Case Studies?

KeithRN clinical reasoning case studies provide educators with the following innovations that make them valuable tools for developing clinical judgment:

  • Provide a consistent framework of higher-level, open-ended questions (no multiple choice!) that use the nursing process with Tanner’s Clinical Judgment Model (which aligns with the NGN model).
  • Use complex, real-world patient scenarios as a case-based, low-fidelity simulation.
  • Unfold sequentially, just like a nurse experiences patient care in practice.
  • Replicate clinical decision-making in the classroom without using manikins or a simulation skills lab.
  • Include comprehensive answer key.

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