Healthcare professionals like nurses and physicians need to perform routine examination of adults before they can conduct any necessary medical procedure on them. In order to determine any possible health and physical abnormality that the subject (the patient) might be suffering from, an adult physical & health assessment test becomes a necessity. In order to differentiate between a normal and an abnormal health condition, these tests or evaluations are very helpful. These assessments are very systematic and one that doesn’t actually requires the aid of highly sophisticated medical equipment to determine the major areas of concern for the patient. This in turn enables the doctors and the healthcare professional like nurses to take proper precautionary care before carrying out a medical procedure on the patient concerned.
In general, the healthcare professionals conduct a routine check of the full body (the anatomy) of the individual and assess the following systems of the patient’s body namely the respiratory system, the cardiac system, the Integumentary system, the musculoskeletal system, the neurological system, the endocrinal system, the gastrointestinal system and the genitourinary system, but not necessarily in this order. Once all the tests indicate that there is little or no risk, then only the medical professionals would proceed to the next step, which is, executing a major medical procedure, like a surgery, implant and so on.
Here we will discuss 5 important things that you must know if you are to conduct an adult physical & health assessment test on your patient. We will also shed light on the importance of each step in brief. Read on –
Get acquainted with the patient’s medical history – This is by far the most crucial part of health assessment. Every person is different, so does his/her medical history. So it is important that you familiarize yourself with the patient’s lifestyle, affinities/ addictions (if any), chronic illness (if any), along with the medical complications suffered in the past and so on. Also make sure you have sufficient data on the patient’s age, race, ethnicity, address, spouse/guardian’s name and contact number, among others, before you proceed to the next step.
Start Being friendly with the patient you’re about to examine – it is important that you talk to your patients prior to examining them. Initiating and developing a friendly association with them is the perfect way to start with. Start by giving a self-introduction rather than asking about their illness or discomfort. Make them feel at home, and then only proceed to assess their physique and health. Taking your patient into confidence is a major boost for the patient as well as for the examiner.
Visual inspection should precede physical inspection – Before you touch your patient with your hand it is important that you make a visible inspection of the person. A general observation of the affected body part or the entire body (as the case might be) should be carried out by the healthcare professional and all the while inform your patient what you’re going to do next to let them be prepared mentally. This will help avoid any possible discomfort between either of you.
Begin with palpation and proceed to percussion and not the other way round – Start with palpation, which is examining the patient’s body with your hand. The convention is to hold 2-3 fingers together and gently touch and press the skin of the patient to feel- warmth/cold, thickness and depth of the skin. You can also feel the existence of masses, like tumours by using palpation. After this proceed to percussion where you will have to tap the body of the patient with your finger to determine the consistency of tissues in the skin. Make sure you use your middle fingertip of your most dominant hand.
End your adult physical & health assessment test with auscultation – This is the process of listening to the sounds emanated from the human heart beat, lungs and bowels (with the aid of a stethoscope). As per experts in this field, the high pitched noises are heard mostly from fully functional organs and indicate good health condition. While a weak pulse together with slow heartbeat noise signals a possible need for medical intervention.
Summary: An adult physical & health assessment test is necessary to evaluate the health condition of patients and indicates whether any medical intervention is required or not. This article covers the 5 most important things to know before conducting an adult health and physical assessment test.
Author Bio –
Tina Ventori is an expert healthcare professional, a writer, blogger and educator. He has published several academic articles helping nursing students to understand the various procedures that are essential to know in their day to day work field. Here he discusses 5 crucial points to follow before conducting an adult physical & health assessment test.