Head to Toe Essay

820 Words4 Pages
The head to toe physical assessment is the first step of the nursing process and is a systemic approach of collecting objective (physical) and subjective (mental) data on the patient that will help the nurse formulate nursing diagnoses and plan patient care. It is also used to confirm or question data that was stated in the pt. previous history stated in the charts and to evaluate the effectiveness of the nursing interventions that were carried out on the patient. The main focus of the head-to-toe assessment is to focus on what the patient is currently presenting with; the patient's responses to actual or potential problems. In preparing for the assessment, it is important to explain the purpose of the assessment, explaining why it is…show more content…
The head to toe physical assessment is to be performed in less than 10 minutes using a stethescope, pen light, your hands, and observational skills. It comprises of four different techniques: IPPA inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation. This sequence, in apparent order, is used for al systems except for the abdominal assessment, which requires auscultation before palpation and percussion. Inspection is visually examining the person, focusing on one area of the body at a time. Palpation is using touch, feeling for texture, size, consistency, and location of body parts. Auscultation is listening for sounds within the body, mainly listening the lungs, heart, as well as the abdomen with the use of a stethoscope. Percussion is tapping an area of the body with the fingers and is usually a special assessment skill that the RN or physician uses, not a practical student nurse. The nurse must initially evaluate the patient’s charts for any bacterial precautions and fall risks. As the nurse walks into the patient’s room, the nurse begins by making sure the environment is clean and safe. The nurse would do this by gathering equipment, washing hands thoroughly, and wear gloves. The nurse is then to greet the patient, introducing self, then let them know exactly what you came to do. The nurse should first ask the patient for his or her name, birthdate, location of where the patient is currently at, and the reason as to what
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