Seven years into my nurse practitioner career, I still recite many of the mnemonics from my nurse practitioner school days. “Female, fat, fertile and forty…”, yep, this patient fits the bill for an acute cholecystitis diagnosis… A few simple memorization tricks can make life as an NP student much more manageable. So, next time you’re studying for an anatomy final or preparing to be grilled on your next clinical rotation, have a few mnemonics up your sleeve.
Here are a few of my favorite mnemonics relating to assessment, diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal system disorders that just might help nurse practitioners to-be.
Abdominal Assessment: Physical Exam
What is the physical exam telling you? Simply remember DR. GERM.
Distension (Liver problems, bowel obstruction)
Rigidity (Board like, caused by internal bleeding)
Ecchymosis (Blunt abdominal trauma, ruptured ectopic, acute pancreatitis, ruptured aortic aneurysm, spontaneous bleeding related to anticoagulopathy)
Rebound tenderness (Infection)
Abdominal Assessment: Signs of Chronic Liver Disease
It’s as simple as ABCDEFGHIJ.
Ascites, Atrophy of testicles, Ankle edema, Asterixis
Clubbing, Color change of nails
Encephalopathy, Erythema of palms
Increased parotid size
Differential Diagnoses: Causes of Acute Abdominal Pain
What’s going on with your patient’s BAD GUT PAINS?
Appendicitis, Adenitis (mesenteric)
Diverticulitis, Diabetic Ketoacidosis, Diarrhea, Drug withdrawal