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Ultimate Guide to Head-to-Toe Physical Assessment

Physical rebuke is an unavoidcogent rule not proportioned for nurses but to-boot for doctors. Establishing a amiable-natured-natured rebuke would later-on fruit a aggravate accurebuke individuality, planning, and emend interventions and evaluation, that’s why it’s main to conceal a amiable-natured-natured and impetuous rebuke.

Below is your conclusive influence in effecting a leadership-to-toe material rebuke. You capacity insufficiency to print a delineation and import it during your hospital power, making your material rebuke emend and aggravate accurate!

Skull, Scalp & Hair

  • Observe the vastness, figure, and delineation of the skull.
  • Observe scalp in irrelative areas by separating the hair at irrelative locations; tfamily encircling any injuries. Music endness of lice, nits, dandruff or lesions.
  • Palpate the leadership by ordinary the pads of the fingers aggravate the integral manner of the skull; tfamily encircling kindness upon doing so. (exhibit gloves if expedient)
  • Observe and arrive-at the hair stipulation.

Normal Findings:


  • Generally spherical, delay prominences in the faceal and occipital area. (Normocephalic).
  • No kindness famed upon palpation.


  • Lighter in pretense than the deportment.
  • Can be juicy or unctuous.
  • No scars famed.
  • Free from lice, nits, and dandruff.
  • No lesions should be famed.
  • No kindness or concretiones on palpation.


  • Can be ebon, brown or burgundy depending on the family.
  • Evenly orderly protects the undivided scalp
  • No symptom of Alopecia
  • Maybe end or watery, unrefined or raze.
  • Neither fricogent nor dry.


  • Observe the visage for figure.
  • Inspect for Symmetry.
    • Inspect for the palpebral notoriousing (removal among the eyelids); should be homogeneous in twain eyes.
    • Ask the enduring to countenance, There should be biadjunctive Nasolabial double (creases extending from the discollocation of the nook of the notoriousing). Simponderous aprolot in the double is ordinary.
    • If twain are met, then the Visage is castly
  • Test the powering of Cranial Nerves that secretvates the facial structures

CN V (Trigeminal)

1. Sensory Function

  • Ask the client to end the eyes.
  • Run cotton wisp aggravate the forehead, cheek, and jaw on twain agents of the visage.
  • Ask the client if he/she arrive-ats it, and where she arrive-ats it.
  • Check for corneal reflex using cotton wisp.
  • The ordinary defense in conniveing.

2. Motor power

  • Ask the client to eat or clench the jaw.
  • The client should be cogent to clench or eat delay power and validity.

CN VII (Facial)

1. Sensory power (This conclusion secretvate the preliminary 2/3 of the language).

  • Place a wholesome, crabbed, salty, or pungent import neighboring the tip of the language.
  • Normally, the client can establish the delicacy.

2. Motor power

  • Ask the client to countenance, denial, elevate eyebrow, end eyelids, chirp, or heavyter the cheeks.

Normal Findings

  • Shape may be oval or sphericaled.
  • Face is castly.
  • No obligatory muscle impelments.
  • Can impel facial muscles at gain.
  • Intact cranial conclusion V and VII.

Eyebrows, Eyes, and Eyelashes

  • All three structures are assessed using the modality of superintendence.

Normal findings


  • Symmetrical and in length delay each other.
  • Maybe ebon, brown or blond depending on family.
  • Evenly orderly.
Severe exophthalmos


  • Evenly placed and inlength delay each other.
  • None protruding.
  • Equal palpebral notoriousing.


  • Color cessationing on family.
  • Evenly orderly.
  • Turned forthcoming.

Eyelids and Lacrimal Apparatus

  • Inspect the eyelids for collocation and proportion.
  • Palpate the eyelids for the lacrimal glands.
    • To investigate the lacrimal gland, the investigater, imponderously slide the pad of the apostacy finger athwart the client’s excellent sphereal rim.
    • Inquire for any pain or kindness.
  • Palpate for the nasolacrimal duct to cohibit for obstacle.
    • To assess the nasolacrimal duct, the investigater presses delay the apostacy finger athwart the client’s inferior secret sphereal rim, at the lacrimal sac, NOT AGAINST THE NOSE.
    • In the endness of blockage, this gain inducement regurgitation of limpid in the puncta

Normal Findings


  • Upper eyelids caggravate the feeble lot of the iris, cornea, and sclera when eyes are notorious.
  • No PTOSIS famed. (Drooping of excellent eyelids).
  • Meets altogether when eyes are endd.
  • Symmetrical.

Lacrimal Apparatus

  • Lacrimal gland is ordinaryly non corporal.
  • No kindness on palpation.
  • No regurgitation from the nasolacrimal duct.


  • The bulbar and palpebral conjunctivae are investigated by separating the eyelids extensively and having the client face up, down and to each agent. When separating the lids, the investigater should urge NO PRESSURE athwart the eyeball; rather, the investigater should delaywithabide the lids athwart the ridges of the angular sphere enfailure the eye.

In examining the palpebral conjunctiva, everting the excellent eyelid in expedient and is effected as ensue:

  1. Ask the client to face down but conceal his eyes subordinately notorious. This enervatees the levator muscles, when-in-fact failure the eyes contracts the orbicularis muscle, preventing lid explication.
  2. Gently retain the excellent eyelashes and draw gently downward. Do not draw the lashes forthcoming or upward; this, too, inducements muscles defilement.
  3. Place a cotton tip collision encircling I can balancecommander the lid capacity and urge gently downward delay the applicator opportunity calm?} delayusurpation the lashes. This everts the lid.
  4. Hold the lashes of the everted lid athwart the excellent ridge of the angular sphere, proportioned underneath the eyebrow, never urgeing athwart the eyebrow.
  5. Examine the lid for turgescence, infection, and endness of alien aims.
  6. To yield-end the lid to its ordinary collocation, impel the lid subordinately progressive and ask the client to face up and to connive. The lid yield-backs vastly to its ordinary collocation.

Normal Findings

  • Both conjunctivae are pinkish or red in pretense.
  • With endness of abundant searchings capillaries.
  • Moist
  • No ulcers
  • No alien aims


  • The sclerae are vastly inspected during the rebuke of the conjunctivae.

Normal Findings

  • Sclerae is pure in pretense (anicteric sclera)
  • No yellowish blur (icteric sclera).
  • Some capillaries may be evident.
  • Some mob may conceal pigmented collocations.


  • The cornea is best inspected by frequenteding penimponderous renew from irrelative collocations.

Normal findings

  • There should be no riotousities on the manner.
  • Looks raze.
  • The cornea is evident or crystalline. The features of the iris should be vastly evident thchurlish the cornea.
  • There is a real corneal reflex.

Anterior Berth and Iris

  • The preliminary berth and the iris are vastly inspected in specification delay the cornea. The technique of diagonal radiance is to-boot beneficial in assessing the preliminary berth.

Normal Findings

  • The preliminary berth is crystalline.
  • No famed any evident materials.
  • Color of the iris depends on the peculiar’s family (black, blue-colored, brown or bald).
  • From the agent neglect, the iris should show heavy and should not be bulging progressive. There should be NO crescent umbration casted on the other agent when illuminated from one agent.


  • Examination of the pupils involves irrelative superintendences, including rebuke of the vastness, figure reaction to imponderous is frequenteded is observed for frequented defense of constriction. Simultaneously, the other eye is observed for consensual defense of constriction.
  • The cupel for papillary gift is the touchstoneimony for the transmute in papillary vastness as it is switched from a remote to a neighboring aim.
  • Ask the client to beabide at the aims despite the capacity.
  • Then ask the client to fix his scan on the investigater’s apostacy fingers, which is placed 5 – 5 inches from the client’s nose.
  • Visualization of remote aims ordinaryly inducements papillary dilation and visualization of neighboringer aims inducements papillary constriction and mob of the eye.

Normal Findings

  • Pupillary vastness files from 3 – 7 mm, and are homogeneous in vastness.
  • Equally spherical.
  • Constrict briskly/sluggishly when imponderous is frequenteded to the eye, twain frequentedly and consensual.
  • Pupils extensiven when faceing at remote aims, and constrict when faceing at neighboringer aims.
  • If all of which are met, we muniment the findings using the notation PERRLA, pupils homogeneously spherical, reactive to imponderous and gift.
A Snellen chart

Cranial Conclusion II (optic conclusion)

  • The optic conclusion is assessed by cupeling for visual acuity and peripheral trust.
  • Visual acuity is cupeled using a Snellen chart, for those who are unstudious and unlearned delay the western alphabet, the unstudious E chart, in which the epistle E visages in irrelative frequentedions, may be used.
  • The chart has a criterionized sum at the end of each length of epistles; these sums mark the mark of visual acuity when measured at a removal of 20 feet.
  • The numerator 20 is the removal in feet among the chart and the client, or the criterion cupeling removal. The denominator 20 is the removal from which the ordinary eye can unravel the epistleing, which corresponds to the sum at the end of each epistle length; for-this-reason the vastr the denominator the poorer the rendering.
  • Measurement of 20/20 trust is an symptom of either refractive fallacy or some other optic quackery.
  • In cupeling for visual acuity you may belong to the ensueing:
    • The capacity used for this cupel should be polite imponderoused.
    • A peculiar who exhibits preventative lenses should be cupeled delay and delayout them to cohibit for the identity of chastisement.
    • Only one eye should be cupeled at a season; the other eye should be protected by an luteous card or eye protect, not delay client’s finger.
    • Make the client unravel the chart by pointing at a epistle randomly at each length; perchance working from vastst to feebleest or crime versa.
    • A peculiar who can unravel the vastst epistle on the chart (20/200) should be cohibited if they can see workman impelment encircling 12 inches from their eyes, or if they can see the imponderous of the penimponderous frequenteded to their yes.

Peripheral trust or visual rooms

  • The rebuke of visual acuity is weighty of the powering of the macular area, the area of frank trust. However, it does not cupel the sensitivity of the other areas of the retina which see the aggravate peripheral stimuli. The Visual room confrontation cupel, fruit a rather shameful delineation of peripheral trust.
  • The operation of this cupel assumes that the investigater has ordinary visual rooms, gone that client’s visual rooms are to be collated delay the investigaters.

Follow the steps on conducting the cupel:

  • The investigater and the client sit or be irreconcilable each other, delay the eyes at the homogeneous, similar raze delay the removal of 1.5 – 2 feet away.
  • The client protects the eye delay an luteous card, and the investigater protects the eye that is irreconcilable to the client protected eye.
  • Instruct the client to beabide frequentedly at the investigater’s eye, opportunity the investigater beholds at the client’s notorious eye. Neither faces out at the aim appropinquationing from the boundary.
  • The investigater delayholds an aim such as pencil or penlight, in his workman and gradually impels it in from the boundary of twain frequentedions similarly and from balancecommander and adown.
  • Normally the client should see the homogeneous season the investigaters see it. The ordinary visual room is 180 marks.

Cranial Conclusion III, IV & VI (Oculomotor, Trochlear, Abducens)

  • All the 3 Cranial conclusions are cupeled at the homogeneous season by assessing the Extra Ocular Change-of-place (EOM) or the six consummate collocation of scan.

Follow the attached steps:

  • Stand frequentedly in face of the client and delaywithabide a finger or a penimponderous encircling 1 ft from the client’s eyes.
  • Instruct the client to ensue the frequentedion the aim held by the investigater by eye impelments only; that is delayout tender the neck.
  • The nurse impels the aim in a clockwise frequentedion hexagonally.
  • Instruct the client to fix his scan momentarily on the final collocation in each of the six consummate scans.
  • The investigater should guard for any jerky impelments of the eye (nystagmus).
  • Normally the client can delaywithabide the collocation and there should be no nystagmus.


  • Inspect the auricles of the ears for similarity, vastness collocation, showance and husk pretense.
  • Palpate the auricles and the mastoid rule for conclusion of the cartilage of the auricles, kindness when manipulating the auricles and the mastoid rule.
  • Inspect the parley meatus or the ear canal for pretense, endness of cerumen, liberates, and alien bodies.
  • For adult draw the pinna upward and clumsy to unbend the canal.
  • For progeny draw the pinna downward and clumsy to unbend the canal
  • Perform otoscopic touchstoneimony of the tympanic membrane, noting the pretense and landmarks.

Normal Findings

  • The earlobes are bean-shaped, congruous, and castly.
  • The excellent association of the ear lobe is congruous delay the exterior canthus of the eye.
  • Skin is the homogeneous in pretense as in the deportment.
  • No lesions famed on superintendence.
  • The auricles conceal unshaken cartilage on palpation.
  • The pinna recoils when doubleed.
  • There is no indisposture or kindness on the palpation of the auricles and mastoid rule.
  • The ear canal has ordinaryly some cerumen of superintendence.
  • No liberates or lesions famed at the ear canal.
  • On otoscopic touchstoneimony, the tympanic membrane shows heavy, transparent and pearly unspotted in pretense.

Nose and Paranasal Sinuses

  • The perceptible lot of the nose is inspected for the ensueing:
    • Placement and proportion.
    • Patency of nares (effected by occluding nostril one at a season, and noting for inaptitude in alert)
    • Flaring of alae nasi
    • Discharge
  • The perceptible nares are palpated for:
    • Displacement of plague and cartilage.
    • For kindness and concretiones
    • The inface nares are inspected by hyperextending the neck of the client, the ulnar deportment of the investigaters distressing aggravate the foreleadership of the client, and using the thumb to urge the tip of the nose upward opportunity shining a imponderous into the nares.
  • Inspect for the ensueing:
    • Position of the septum.
    • Check septum for bung. (Can to-boot be cohibited by frequenteding the imponderoused penimponderous on the agent of the nose, radiance at the other agent suggests bung).
    • The nasal mucosa (turbinates) for turgescence, exudates, and transmute in pretense.

Paranasal Sinuses

  • Examination of the paranasal sinuses is unrelated. Information encircling their stipulation is gained by superintendence and palpation of the aggravatefalse tissues. Only faceal and maxillary sinuses are frank for touchstoneimony.
  • By palpating twain cheeks concomitantly, one can particularize kindness of the maxillary sinusitis, and importunate the thumb proportioned adown the eyebrows, we can particularize kindness of the faceal sinuses.

Normal Findings

  • Nose in the midline
  • No Discharges.
  • No showy alae nasi.
  • Both nares are dubious.
  • No plague and cartilage hiatus famed on palpation.
  • No kindness famed on palpation.
  • Nasal septum in the midlength and not perforated.
  • The nasal mucosa is pinkish to red in pretense. (Increased redness turbinates are ordinary of allergy).
  • No kindness famed on palpation of the paranasal sinuses.

Cranial Conclusion I (Olfactory Nerve)

  • To cupel the identity of power of the olfactory conclusion:
    • The client is asked to end his eyes and occlude.
    • The investigater places fumeous and vastly perceive nose. (E.g. alcohol, vinegar, coffee).
    • Ask the client to establish the fume.
    • Each agent is cupeled partially, ideally delay two irrelative imports.

Mouth and Oropharynx Lips

Inspected for:

  • Symmetry and manner monstrousities.
  • Color
  • Edema

Normal Findings:

  • With evident capacity
  • Symmetrical in showance and impelment
  • Pinkish in pretense
  • No edema


  • Palpate opportunity the notoriousing is notorioused extensive and then endd for:
    • Crepitus
    • Deviations
    • Tenderness

Normal Findings:

  • Moves razely no crepitous.
  • No hiatuss famed
  • No indisposture or kindness on palpation and jaw impelment.


Inspected for:

Normal Findings:

  • Pinkish in pretense
  • No gum bleeding
  • No undistinguishable gums


Inspected for:

  • Number
  • Color
  • Dental caries
  • Dental fillings
  • Alignment and malocclusions (2 teeth in the exstiffness for 1, or aggravatelapping teeth).
  • Tooth loss
  • Breath should to-boot be assessed during the rule.

Normal Findings

  • 28 for progeny and 32 for adults.
  • White to yellowish in pretense
  • With or delayout dental caries and/or dental fillings.
  • With or delayout malocclusions.
  • No halitosis.


Palpated for:

  • Texture

Normal Findings:

  • Pinkish delay pure delicacy buds on the manner.
  • No lesions famed.
  • No varicosities on ventral manner.
  • Frenulum is watery attaches to the subsequent 1/3 of the ventral deportment of the language.
  • Gag reflex is offer.
  • Able to impel the language freely and delay power.
  • Survisage of the language is churlish.


Inspected for:

  • Position
  • Color
  • Cranial Conclusion X (Vagus conclusion) – Tested by search the client to say “Ah” music that the uvula gain impel upward and progressive.

Normal Findings:

  • Positioned in the midline.
  • Pinkish to red in pretense.
  • No turgescence or lesion famed.
  • Moves upward and clumsy when asked to say “ah”


Inspected for:

  • Inflammation
  • Size
  • A Grading rule used to relate the vastness of the tonsils can be used.
    • Grade 1 – Tonsils astern the support.
    • Grade 2 – Among support and uvula.
    • Grade 3 – Touching the uvula
    • Grade 4 – In the midline.


  • The neck is inspected for collocation prolot and explicit lumps appearance of the thyroid gland and Jugular Venous Distension
  • Check the File of Change-of-place of the neck.

Normal Findings:

  • The neck is nearest.
  • No evident concretion or lumps.
  • Symmetrical
  • No jugular venous disstiffness (postulatory of cardiac plethora).
  • The neck is palpated proportioned balancecommander the suprasternal music using the thumb and the apostacy finger.

Normal Findings:

  • The trachea is corporal.
  • It is collocationed in the length and nearest.
  • Lymph nodes are palpated using palmar tips of the fingers via ruleic round impelments. Relate lymph nodes in circumstancess of vastness, connectedness, unvariedity, kindness, and fixation to enfailure tissues.

Normal Findings:

  • May not be corporal. Perchance ordinaryly palpcogent in watery clients.
  • Non-tender if corporal.
  • Firm delay raze sphericaled manner.
  • Slightly accidental.
  • About near than 1 cm in vastness.
  • The thyroid is primally observed by entity in face of the client and search the client to engross. Palpation of the thyroid can be effected either by subsequent or preliminary appropinquation.

Posterior Approach:
  1. Let the client sit on a chair opportunity the investigater bes astern him.
  2. In examining the isthmus of the thyroid, fix the cricoid cartilage and frequentedly adown that is the isthmus.
  3. Ask the client to enbulk opportunity arrive-ating for any expansion of the thyroid isthmus.
  4. To dispose touchstoneimony of each lobe, the client is asked to metamorphose his leadership subordinately toward the agent to be investigated to reagitate the sternocleidomastoid, opportunity the other workman of the investigater urgees the thyroid cartilage towards the agent of the thyroid lobe to be investigated.
  5. Ask the enduring to enbulk as the rule is entity effected.
  6. The investigater may to-boot palate for thyroid expansion by placing the thumb designing to and astern the sternocleidomastoid muscle, opportunity the apostacy and intermediate fingers are placed designing to and in face of the muscle.
  7. Then the rule is continual on the other agent.

Anterior appropinquation:

  1. The investigater bes in face of the client and delay the palmar manner of the intermediate and apostacy fingers palpate adown the cricoid cartilage.
  2. Ask the client to enbulk opportunity palpation is entity effected.
  3. In palpating the lobes of the thyroid, homogeneous rule is effected as in subsequent appropinquation. The client is asked to metamorphose his leadership subordinately to one agent and then the other of the lobe to be investigated.
  4. Again the investigater removes the thyroid cartilage towards the agent of the lobe to be investigated.
  5. Again, the investigater palpates the area and hooks thumb and fingers aspherical the sternocleidomastoid muscle.

Normal Findings:

  • Normally the thyroid is non-palpable.
  • Isthmus may be evident in a watery neck.
  • No nodules are corporal.
  • Auscultation of the Thyroid is expedient when there is thyroid expansion. The investigater may heed bruits, as a end of increased and confusion in blood course in an amiable thyroid.

Thorax (Cardiovascular System)

Inspection of the Heart

  • The chest embankment and epigastrium is inspected opportunity the client is in supine collocation. Observe for pulsation and heaves or elates

Normal Findings:

  • Pulsation of the apical feeling may be evident. (this can yield us some symptom of the cardiac vastness).
  • There should be no elate or heaves.

Palpation of the Heart

  • The integral precordium is palpated ruleically using the palms and the fingers, initiation at the sharp-end, tender to the left sternal brim, and then to the sordid of the heedt.

Normal Findings:

  • No, palpcogent pulsation aggravate the aortic, pulmonic, and mitral valves.
  • Apical pulsation can be felt on palpation.
  • There should be no famed abordinary heaves, and thrills felt aggravate the sharp-end.

Percussion of the Heart

  • The technique of encounter is of poor prize in cardiac rebuke. It can be used to particularize brims of cardiac indiscriminateness.

Auscultation of the Heart

  • Anatomic areas for auscultation of the heedt:
  • Aortic valve – Straight 2nd ICS sternal brim.
  • Pulmonic Valve – Left 2nd ICS sternal brim.
  • Tricuspid Valve – – Left 5th ICS sternal brim.
  • Mitral Valve – Left 5th ICS midclavicular length

Positioning the client for auscultation:

  1. If the heedt probes are half-hearted or undetectable, try heeding to them delay the enduring seated and inclination progressive, or false on his left agent, which imports the heedt endr to the manner of the chest.
  2. Having the client seated and inclination progressive is best advantageous for heeding sharp probes cognate to semilunar valves collection.
  3. The left adjunctive horizontal collocation is best advantageous low-pitched probes, such as mitral valve collections and extra heedt probes.

Auscultating the heedt:

  1. Auscultate the heedt in all anatomic areas aortic, pulmonic, tricuspid and mitral
  2. Listen for the S1 and S2 probes (S1 blank forbearance of AV valves; S2 blank forbearance of semilunar valve). S1 probe is best heedd aggravate the mitral valve; S2 is best heedd aggravate the aortic valve.
  3. Listen for abordinary heedt probes e.g. S3, S4, and Murmurs.
  4. Count heedt rebuke at the apical pulse for one generous searching.
Auscultation of Hardihood Sounds
Auscultation of Hardihood Sounds

Normal Findings:

  • S1 & S2 can be heedd at all anatomic standing.
  • No abordinary heedt probes are heedd (e.g. Murmurs, S3 & S4).
  • Cardiac rebuke files from 60 – 100 bpm.


Inspection of the Breast

  • There are 4 greater sitting collocation of the client used for clinical delaystand touchstoneimony. Perfect client should be investigated in each collocation.
    • The client is seated delay her battle on her agent.
    • The client is seated delay her battle abducted aggravate the leadership.
    • The client is seated and is urgeing her workmans into her hips, concomitantly eliciting defilement of the pectoral muscles.
    • The client is seated and is erudition aggravate opportunity the investigater assists in sustaining and balancing her.
  • While the client is effecting these maneuvers, the delaystands are carelargely observed for proportion, bulging, panegyric, and fixation.
  • An monstrousity may not be seeming in the delaystands at cessation a concretion may inducement the delaystands, thchurlish irruption of the suspensory ligaments, to fix, preventing them from upward impelment in collocation 2 and 4.
  • Position 3 specifically assists in eliciting dimpling if a concretion has infiltrated and shortened suspensory ligaments.

Normal Findings:

  • The aggravatefalse the delaystand should be similar.
  • May or may not be altogether castly at cessation.
  • The areola is sphericaled or oval, delay homogeneous pretense, (Color varies from imponderous pink to sombre brown depending on family).
  • Nipples are sphericaled, everted, homogeneous vastness and homogeneous in pretense.
  • No “ofile peel” husk is famed which is offer in edema.
  • The veins may be evident but not engorge and conspicuous.
  • No explicit concretion famed.
  • Not fixated and impels bilaterally when workmans are abducted aggravate the leadership, or is inclination progressive.
  • No panegyrics or dimpling.

Palpation of the Breast

  • Palpate the delaystand correlative spurious concentric circles, ensueing a clockwise rotary excitement, from the boundary to the hardihood going to the nipples. Be abiding that the delaystand is adequately surveyed. Withstand touchstoneimony is best effected 1-week column menses.
  • Each areolar areas are carelargely palpated to particularize the endness of underfalse concretiones.
  • Each nipple is gently housed to assess for the endness of concretiones or liberate.

Normal Findings:

  • No lumps or concretiones are corporal.
  • No kindness upon palpation.
  • No liberates from the nipples.
  • NOTE: The courageous delaystands are observed by adapting the techniques used for fecourageous clients. However, the irrelative sitting collocation used for dowager is useless.


  • In abdominal rebuke, be abiding that the client has emptied the bladder for self-approval. Place the client in a careless collocation delay the knees subordinately flexed to enervate abdominal muscles.

Inspection of the abdomen

  • Inspect for husk integrity (Pigmentation, lesions, striae, scars, veins, and umbilicus).
  • Contour (flat, sphericaled, scaphoid)
  • Distension
  • Respiratory impelment.
  • Visible peristalsis.
  • Pulsations

Normal Findings:

  • Skin pretense is unvaried, no lesions.
  • Some clients may conceal striae or scar.
  • No venous engorgement.
  • Contour may be heavy, sphericaled or scaphoid
  • Thin clients may conceal evident peristalsis.
  • Aortic pulsation may be evident on watery clients.

Auscultation of the Abdomen

  • This rule precedes encounter beinducement bowel motility, and thus bowel probes, may be increased by palpation or encounter.
  • The stethoscope and the workmans should be irascibleed; if they are frigid, they may initiate defilement of the abdominal muscles.
  • Light presabiding on the stethoscope is adequate to expose bowel probes and bruits. Intestinal probes are relatively sharp, the bell may be used in exploring arterial murmurs and venous hum.

Peristaltic probes

  • These probes are manufactured by the impelments of air and limpids thchurlish the gastrointestinal rely. Peristalsis can fruit symptom clues bearing to the motility of bowel.
  • Listening to the bowel probes (borborygmi) can be disposed by ensueing these steps:
    • Divide the abdomen into immodest quadrants.
    • Listen aggravate all auscultation standings, starting at the straight inferior quadrants, ensueing the wayward shape of the spurious lengths in creating the abdominal quadrants. This frequentedion ensures that we ensue the frequentedion of bowel impelment.
    • Peristaltic probes are totally riotous. Thus it is recommended that the investigater heed for at meanest 5 searchings, chiefly at the periumbilical area, anteriorly ending that no bowel probes are offer.
    • The ordinary bowel probes are sharp, gurgling noises that interest-place almost perfect 5 – 15 avoids. It is suggested that the sum of bowel probe may be as low as 3 to as lofty as 20 per searching, or churlishly, one bowel probe for each inhalation probe.
    • Some factors that favor bowel probe:
      • Presence of maintenance in the GI rely.
      • State of digestion.
      • Pathologic stipulations of the bowel (inflammation, Gangrene, paralytic ileus, peritonitis).
      • Bowel surgery
      • Constipation or Diarrhea.
      • Electrolyte imbalances.
      • Bowel obstacle.

Percussion of the abdomen

  • Abdominal encounter is aimed at exposeing limpid in the peritoneum (ascites), gaseous distension, and concretiones, and in assessing orderly structures delayin the abdomen.
  • The frequentedion of abdominal encounter ensues the auscultation standing at each abdominal guardant.
  • The integral abdomen should be percussed imponderously or a unconcealed delineate of the areas of tympany and indiscriminateness.
  • Tympany gain outweigh beinducement of the endness of gas in the feeble and vast bowel. Orderly concretiones gain percuss as heavy, such as liver in the RUQ, annoyance at the 6th or 9th rib proportioned subsequent to or at the midaxillary length on the left agent.
  • Percussion in the abdomen can to-boot be used in assessing the liver couple and vastness of the annoyance.

Percussion of the liver

  • The palms of the left workman are placed aggravate the clime of liver indiscriminateness.
  • The area is strucked imponderously delay a fisted straight workman.
  • Normally kindness should not be elicited by this rule.
  • Tenderness elicited by this rule is usually a end of hepatitis or cholecystitis.

Renal Percussion

  • Can be effected by either infrequented or frequented rule.
  • Percussion is effected aggravate the costovertebral connection.
  • Tenderness elicited by such rule suggests renal inflammation.

Palpation of the Abdomen

Light palpation

  • It is a amiable interrogation manufactured opportunity the client is in careless collocation. Delay the investigater’s workmans congruous to the floor.
  • The fingers dispirit the abdominal embankment, at each quadrant, by almost 1 cm delayout digging, but gently palpating delay lazy round excitement.
  • This rule is used for eliciting simponderous kindness, vast concretiones, and muscles, and muscle indemnifying.
  • Tensing of abdominal musculature may interest-place beinducement of:
    • The investigater’s workmans are too frigid or are pressed to vigorously or designing into the abdomen.
    • The client is nice or guards involuntarily.
    • Presence of subjacent pathologic stipulation.

Normal Findings:

  • No kindness famed.
  • With raze and accordant stiffness.
  • No muscles indemnifying.

Deep Palpation

  • It is the unfastening of the abdomen manufactured by importunate the distal half of the palmar manners of the fingers into the abdominal embankment.
  • The abdominal embankment may slide end and forth opportunity the fingers impel end and forth aggravate the organ entity investigated.
  • Deeper structures, approve the liver, and retroperitoneal organs, approve the kidneys, or concretiones may be felt delay this rule.
  • In the lack of malady, presabiding manufactured by designing palpation may fruit kindness aggravate the cecum, the sigmoid colon, and the aorta.

Liver palpation

  • There are two types of bimanual palpation recommended for palpation of the liver. The leading one is the superimcollocation of the straight workman aggravate the left workman.
    • Ask the enduring to interest 3 ordinary inhalations.
    • Then ask the client to inhalatione designingly and delayhold. This would urge the liver down to dispose palpation.
    • Press workman designingly aggravate the RUQ
  • The avoid rules:
    • The investigater’s left workman is placed underneath the client at the raze of the straight 11th and 12th ribs.
    • Place the investigater’s straight workmans congruous to the costal capacity or the RUQ.
    • An upward presabiding is placed underneath the client to urge the liver towards the examining straight workman, opportunity the straight workman is importunate into the abdominal embankment.
    • Ask the client to inhalatione designingly.
    • As the client inspires, the liver perchance felt to slip underneath the examining fingers.

Normal Findings:

  • The liver usually cannot be palpated in a ordinary adult. However, in finally watery but incorrectly polite individuals, it may be felt the coastal capacitys.
  • When the ordinary liver capacity is palpated, it must be raze, recurrent in delineation, unshaken and non-tender.



  • Observe for vastness, delineation, biadjunctive proportion, and obligatory impelment.
  • Look for shameful deformities, edema, endness of trauma such as ecchymosis or other blur.
  • Always collate twain extremities.


  • Feel for similarness of weather. Normally it should be similar for all the extremities.
  • Tonicity of muscle. (Can be measured by search client to press investigater’s fingers and noting for homogeneousity of defilement).
  • Perform file of excitement.
  • Test for muscle power. (manufactured athwart dismally and athwart hindrance)
  • Tcogent showing the Lovett lamina for grading for muscle power and poweral raze
Functional raze Lovett Scale Grade Percentage of ordinary No symptom of contractility Zero (Z) 0 0 Evidence of simponderous contractility Tfamily (T) 1 10 Complete ROM delayout dismally Poor (P) 2 25 Complete ROM delay dismally Fair (F) 3 50 Complete file of excitement athwart dismally delay some hindrance Good (G) 4 75 Complete file of excitement athwart dismally delay generous hindrance Normal (N) 5 100

Normal Findings

  • Both extremities are homogeneous in vastness.
  • Have the homogeneous delineation delay prominences of joints.
  • No obligatory impelments.
  • No edema
  • Color is similar.
  • Temperature is irascible and similar.
  • Has homogeneous defilement and similar.
  • Can effect perfect file of excitement.
  • No crepitus must be famed on joints.
  • Can counterinfluence dismally and hindrance on ROM.

See Also

  1. Complete Head-to-Toe Material Rebuke Cheat Sheet
  2. Ultimate Influence to Head-to-Toe Material Assessment
  3. Head-to-Toe Material Rebuke [VIDEOS]


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