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Chest Pain Assessment, Diagnosis and Treatment

The purpose of this presentation is to provide the learner with the knowledge and tools to assist in the assessment, diagnosis, evaluation and treatment options for a patient presenting with chest pain.

In order to rapidly treat chest pain it is necessary to identify priority symptoms, utilize subjective and objective assessment skills and make an accurate diagnosis. Differentiating between cardiac, muscular, gastric and pulmonary causes of chest pain can be challenging.

This presentation is divided into two sections. The first is focused on assessment.  Discussing  how to plan your interview of the patient and sift through the history and symptoms. We will review how to effectively ascertain the chief complaint, history of present illness and past medical and family history. We will identify points to consider in both your questioning and your physical assessment of the patient. We will also review which special populations may need additional consideration, including females, diabetics, elderly and patients who have had previous cardiac surgery.

The second part of the presentation will be focused on how to differentiate chest pain and discuss the various treatment options for each of the potential diagnosis. This will include understanding your assessment findings, and examining ECG, CXR, laboratory and other tests that can be performed to assist in your diagnosis. Finally we will explore the treatment options available for some of the most frequently diagnosed causes of chest pain.

The target audience is broad and beneficial to all healthcare professionals, including physicians, advanced practice nurses or physician assistants, and nurses. There are some references to pharmacology (approximately 15% of the presentation has pharmacology information). There are no prerequisites to this program.

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