Eating Disorder Case Study

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Prepare your students for licensure and real-world practice with this salient scenario that contextualizes nursing care and priority setting in a young woman with an eating disorder.

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Case Study Scenario:

Mandy White is a 16-year-old adolescent who has struggled with anorexia nervosa since the age of 11. She admits to drinking several large glasses of water daily. Mandy has also been recently engaging in self injurious behavior (SIB) of cutting both forearms and thighs with broken glass, causing numerous lacerations and scars.

Mandy presents to the emergency department (ED) with increasing weakness, lightheadedness and a near syncopal episode this evening. She admits to inducing vomiting after meals the past three weeks. She is 5’ 5” and weighs 83 lbs/37.7 kg (BMI 13.8). Mandy is reluctantly brought in by her mother and does not want to be treated. As the primary nurse responsible for the care of Mandy, you overhear her say to her mother, “I hate everything about me! I am so tired of living, I wish I were dead!”


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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