FUNCTIONS OF THE PHYSICAL ASSESSMENT
There are four functions (or parts) of the physical assessment: inspection,
palpation, percussion, and auscultation. When you are doing a physical assessment,
perform these functions in the order just given. The definition of each function is given
in figure 2-1.
Figure 2-1. Techniques of examination/assessment.
Section II. STEPS OF THE PROCEDURE
Inspection, the most important of the examination techniques, begins with the
first moment you see the patient. Begin each portion of the examination by looking at
the part of the body you are examining.
a. The Patient. The patient should be calm, relaxed, and not unduly
b. Breathing. Observe the patient for these aspects of breathing:
(1) Respiratory rate. The respiratory rate should be between 12 and 20
breaths per minute with even and easy movements of the respiratory muscles and chest
Rhythm. Note the rhythm of the patient's breathing.
Breathing. Note whether or not it is an effort for the patient to breath.
c. Skin. Look at the color of the patient's skin and check for bruises and/or