Critical thinking and diagnostic reasoning when advanced practitioners assess and treat skin conditions
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McPhillips, H., Wood, A. and Harper-McDonald, B. (2021) 'Critical thinking and diagnostic reasoning when advanced practitioners assess and treat skin conditions', British Journal of Nursing, 30(22), pp. 1278-1286.
Advanced clinical practitioner (ACP) roles require a broad range of knowledge of both medical and surgical medicine and the ability to work autonomously in a variety of settings. Despite around half of the UK adult population presenting with a skin condition requiring attention, this is something many ACPs feel unprepared to consult on. However, due to the complexity and large number of potential diagnoses, it is imperative that ACPs develop their confidence and knowledge to diagnosis, request investigations and initiate treatment for a patient with a skin complaint. In the first part of this clinical review the authors presented the key elements of history taking, consultation and assessment of the skin. This second clinical review discusses the main differential diagnoses, mimickers, common investigations and treatments. This article is designed to support novice ACPs from acute hospital settings to primary care to develop a foundation of understanding in the main diagnosis and treatment options that should be considered following a clinical assessment of patients’ skin out with the dermatology setting.