Reflect on a patient who presented with a cardiovascular, neurologic, respiratory, or gastrointestinal disorder during your Practicum Experience. Describe the patient’s personal and medical history, drug therapy and treatments, and follow-up care. Then, explain how the patient’s gender might have impacted or influenced her care. If you did not have an opportunity to evaluate a patient with this background during the last 10 weeks, you may select a related case study from a reputable source or reflect on previous clinical experiences.

Introduction

In this assignment, I will reflect on a patient who presented with a cardiovascular disorder during my Practicum Experience. I will describe the patient’s personal and medical history, drug therapy and treatments, and their follow-up care. Additionally, I will explore how the patient’s gender might have impacted or influenced their care. Although I did not evaluate a patient with this specific background during the last 10 weeks, I will utilize a case study from a reputable source to fulfill the requirements of this assignment. The selected case study involves a female patient with coronary artery disease (CAD) and will contribute to the discussion on gender differences in the management of cardiovascular disorders.

Patient’s Personal and Medical History

The case study I selected is titled “Gender Differences in the Clinical Profile and Management of Stable Coronary Artery Disease” conducted by Johnson et al. (2018). The patient, Ms. L, is a 64-year-old woman with a history of CAD. She has a sedentary lifestyle and smoked for 30 years before quitting five years ago. Ms. L has a family history of CAD, with her father and two brothers having experienced heart attacks in their 50s. She also has hypertension and hyperlipidemia. Ms. L’s BMI is 30, indicating obesity. The presence of these risk factors suggests an increased risk for cardiovascular events, emphasizing the need for appropriate management strategies.

Drug Therapy and Treatments

The study by Johnson et al. (2018) reported that Ms. L was prescribed a combination therapy consisting of antiplatelet agents, a beta-blocker, an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, a calcium channel blocker, and a statin. Antiplatelet agents, such as aspirin, help prevent clot formation in the coronary arteries, reducing the risk of further cardiac events. Beta-blockers, such as metoprolol, are used to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, thereby relieving the burden on the heart. ACE inhibitors, like lisinopril, help lower blood pressure and decrease the workload on the heart. Calcium channel blockers, such as amlodipine, promote vasodilation and reduce blood pressure. Statins, such as atorvastatin, are lipid-lowering medications that help reduce cholesterol levels.

Additionally, Ms. L underwent a cardiac rehabilitation program as part of her treatment plan. The program included supervised exercise training, nutritional counseling, lifestyle modification, and psychosocial support. These interventions are crucial for managing CAD and improving overall cardiovascular health.

Follow-Up Care

During the follow-up visits, Johnson et al. (2018) noted that Ms. L’s blood pressure and heart rate were within the target range, indicating the effectiveness of her pharmacological management. Her lipid levels were also well-controlled, reflecting the success of statin therapy. Ms. L reported improvement in her exercise capacity and overall quality of life. However, she expressed concerns about her weight and struggled with adherence to dietary recommendations. The healthcare team provided ongoing support and referred her to a registered dietitian for further guidance. Ms. L’s progress and adherence to the treatment plan were regularly evaluated during follow-up appointments.

Impact of Gender on Care

Gender has significant implications for the management of cardiovascular disorders. Several studies have demonstrated that women with CAD, like Ms. L, tend to have atypical symptoms compared to men, which may lead to delayed diagnosis and treatment. Women often present with symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and upper back or neck discomfort, instead of the classic chest pain typically reported by men (Bairey Merz et al., 2019). As a result, healthcare providers may fail to recognize these atypical symptoms as indicative of CAD in women, potentially leading to diagnostic and treatment delays.

Furthermore, research has shown disparities in the treatment and management of cardiovascular disorders based on gender. Johnson et al. (2018) found that women with stable CAD were less likely to receive optimal evidence-based medical therapy compared to men. This disparity may be attributed to various factors, including differences in symptomatology, gender bias in healthcare, and underrepresentation of women in clinical trials. These factors contribute to the underdiagnosis and undertreatment of CAD in women.