A physical examination is medical process of diagnosis or examination used to evaluate the body parts and their functions through observation, feeling, tapping and listening. It also encompasses collecting information regarding a patient’s lifestyle and their medical history. There are four Components Of Physical Examination. These are inspection, palpitation, percussion and auscultation. The process generally involves the use of the hands, ears and the stethoscope to evaluate the body parts or organs.
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- Inspection: This is the inspection of the body for normal color, shape and consistency. The main areas a physician will pay attention to during inspection include the skin, face, eyes, neck, chest, abdomen, legs, muscles and joints (Messele, Osman &Abdurahman, 2005). During inspection of these parts the physician will look for bruises, veins, swelling, masses, cuts, lumps and changes in color.
- Palpation:Palpitation is the process of examining a part of the body for abnormalities by feeling using hands. During palpitation an examiner will feel the chest wall to feel the heart, lymph nodes and the abdomen. Masses or lumps are what an examiner mainly checks for during palpitation.
- Percussion: This examination method also uses the hands where the examiner taps areas of the body. The examiner listens to the sounds produced, which helps determine if there are fluids or masses formed inside the parts. These parts include the abdomen, back and chest wall, which tell if organs like the lungs or stomach, contain either fluids or masses where they are not supposed to be as they cause different sounds (Chemocare, 2015).
- Auscultation: Auscultation is another procedure where a physician or nurse will listen to the heart, neck, lungs and abdomen to detect problems (Chemocare, 2015). This is done using a stethoscope, which amplifies sounds from these areas. The tests usually detect problems in the arteries in the organs; heart beat rate and sound changes, lung normal sound change. Such changes will indicate possibility of a condition.