physical examination

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  • The patient will sit on a flat surface with their legs dangling.
  • The GP will use a reflex hammer to gently strike the patella refelx which is a tendon just below the knee cap.
  • This streaches the tendon, a message is sent along the nerve pathways to the spinal cord.
  • This triggers another message from the spinal cord causing the thigh muscle to contract.
  • This is to detect damage or disease to the nerve pathways, having no reflex response can indicate a problem.
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  • A GP will look for an indication of a condition.
  • They will look for signs and symptoms including; swelling, rashes or brusing.
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  • A persons temperature is taken by a digital thermometer which is connected to a digital display.
  • The probs is placed on the; skin, in the ear, in the mouth under the tounge.
  • The thermometer is left for a short period of time, some thermometers will beep.
  • The temperature is read from the thermometer.
  • The GP will be looking for a temperature aroung 39c or over
  • This could indicate an infectious disease such as meningitis.
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  • Palpation is carried out by a health care professional.
  • They will use their fingers and hands to feel the body and examine unusual factors which may indicate a problem such as ; size, consistency, texture, location and the tenderness.
  • using their hands they can feel a patients heart beat and loud buzzes may be felt.
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  • The GP will place the ear pieces in their ears.
  • They will place the bell on the pateitns chest or back.
  • They will listen for any sounds made.
  • The noise travels from the bell to the ear piece through tubes.
  • The GP will listen to the varios paces on the chest or back.
  • If a crackling sound is heard it will indicate a problem.
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  • Percussion is the technique carried out by an examiner during health care appointments.
  • They will place one hand on the patient where the problem is detected and will tap the area with a finger.
  • Hollow and soild areas are found as they generate different vibrations.
  • The health care professionalwill also use this procedure to determine an enlargement of the organs.
  • Percussion is also used when diagnosing fluid in the abdomen and chest.
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  • The GP will use a sphygmomanometer to test for hyper tension.
  • A cuff will be placed around the top of the arm, it will be filled with air by the bulb attachted to the cuff.
  • The GP will place the flat side of the stethascope on the artery whilst they fill the cuff with air until the blood flow in the briacial artery stops.
  • The pressure gage is looked at once this happens.
  • The screw on the bulb will be tightened to ensure no air gets out, the screw is slowly resleased whilst the GP listens for a blood flow.
  • Once a blood flow has been detected the GP looks at the pressure gage and this is the systolic pressure.
  • Once the blood flow is back to normal the pressure gage is looked at again and this is the dyastolic pressure.
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