� 1- Identify and describe the techniques the RN performs during a physical examination.
� 2- Identify the components of a general survey.
� 3- Select an adult and a pediatric developmental age group. Compare and contrast the
approach the RN would use to conduct the health history and physical examination.
Include a minimum of three techniques the RN would use and explain why each is effective
for the developmental age. Base your initial paper on your readings and research of this
HEALTH PROMOTION THROUGHOUT THE LIFESPAN
Physical assessment is essential as it helps in the examination of an individual’s health by
looking at all aspects in a systematic manner. Various tools of the physical exam, health history,
and professional skills are utilized during the physical assessment. There are various steps used
by the RN to conduct the physical assessment in an organized and logical sequence. Medical
history assessment by the RN is essential before performing other techniques. One of the
techniques is inspection which involves systematic visual examination of the patient (Treas &
Wilkinson, 2014). Palpation is the second technique used by the RN which involves using the
sense of touch to carry out the assessment e.g. for pain, pulse rate, vibration, and temperature.
Percussion is the other technique where the body is directly or indirectly struck to elicit sound,
but the technique is important at a limited capacity. Ausculation is the other technique which is
used to identify the abnormal or normal breath in a patient. There are four components of the
general survey which include behavior, physical appearance, mobility and body structure. While
HEALTH PROMOTION THROUGHOUT THE LIFESPAN 2
conducting the general survey, the focus would be given to the patient’s level of consciousness,
facial expression, personal hygiene, weight and nutritional status which would be based on the
four components (Treas & Wilkinson, 2014).
There are different approaches adopted by the RN nurse while conducting the assessment
of adult and developmental age group. In both age groups, the RN would ensure systematic
inspection of the patient is carried out while also ensuring social, emotional and physical
evaluation is done. While assessing the developmental age group, the RN would consider
inspection, autonomy, consent and confidentiality techniques as major issues during the
evaluation (Treas & Wilknson, 2014). In this case, the developmental assessment is more
focused on thus making the approach a diverse and broad component of assessment. The RN
would adopt a different approach while carrying out a physical examination of adult age group
since their evaluation is less complex compared to that of developmental age. The ausculation
process, assessment of behavior and inspection would be essential while assessing the adults.
The main focus while assessing the adult age group is the identification of lifestyle behaviors as
well as evaluating nutritional status and specific screening (Treas & Wilkinson, 2014). In a
nutshell, the adoption of the right techniques of physical assessment would be a proper initial
step of the treatment process.
HEALTH PROMOTION THROUGHOUT THE LIFESPAN 3
Treas, L. & Wilkinson, J, (2014). Basic nursing: concepts, skills & reasoning. Philadelphia; F. A.