Once you've done some initial background reading, it's time to narrow down your topic. Remember your assignment requirements and consider what you've read thus far.
What is the disease? What medical terminology will doctors and nurses use when referring to the condition?
What is the pathophysiology/etiology of the condition or disease?
What are the environmental and/or developmental risk factors?
What is the prognosis and outcome?
What are the age appropriate interventions?
What are the teaching points for the patient (and parents)? Why are the teaching points beneficial?
As you start to narrow down your topic, you'll want to continue to look for more sources. In order to help you find related sources about your topic, you'll want to identify keywords to help you search.
As you think about what information you should include in your care plan, think about what particular words might be found in a good article about that topic. Think of related keywords:
As you are searching, consider medical terminology nurses may use when referring to the condition. For example, jaundice may also be referred to as neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. This can help you narrow your search if you are getting too many results. See how the results change in the example below:
jaundice and treatment = 9,875 results
neonatal hyperbilirubinemia and treatment = 594 results
To help you find keywords, try searching the National Library of Medicine's Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) for potential keywords:
Keywords work best by trial-and-error. Never do only one search. Some keywords will work better than others, and some keywords may lead you to different articles than you found in your first search. Search the databases with the keywords you selected to find relevant articles. And remember to ask a librarian if you need assistance coming up with keywords or looking for sources.
Use an asterisk (*) after a set of letters to perform a truncated search. This will find variations of a word.
Example 1: child*
This search will find results containing the words... child, childhood, children, etc.
Example 2: musc*
This search will find results containing the words... muscle, muscular, musculoskeletal, etc.
Use quotation marks to search for an exact phrase. This will help you find more specific results! For example:
genetic disorder = 27,917 results
"genetic disorder" = 8,642 results
Consider the following keywords compiled by the National Library of Medicine to help you find appropriate articles:
Newborn = birth to 1 month
Infant = birth to 23 months
Preschool = 2 to 5
Child = 6 to 12
Adolescent = 13 to 18
Use the appropriate terminology (keywords) when searching for articles.