Breast Cancer Clinical Reasoning Case Study


Prepare your students for licensure and real-world practice with this salient scenario that contextualizes nursing care and priority setting with a patient who is newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

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Case Study Scenario:

Jan Leisner is a 50-year-old Caucasian woman who has been healthy with no previous medical history. One year ago, she noted a small palpable lump in her right breast about the size of an almond. Because she has been healthy, she assumed it was nothing and ignored it. Over the last month she has noted that this lump has been increasing in size.

Her mammogram confirmed a 5 cm mass. An ultrasound biopsy confirmed the presence of cancer cells in the tumor as well as in three of her lymph nodes most proximal to the tumor. An MRI scan that followed revealed a 1 cm tumor on her lumbar spine.

Key Components:

1. Develop Critical Thinking

  • By applying and using knowledge most important to practice

2. Develop Clinical Reasoning

  • By recognizing relevant clinical data to identify the nursing priority

3. Develop Clinical Judgment

  • Outcome when student interprets, notices, and responds appropriately

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