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the act of listening for sounds within the body

dorsal recumbent

lying on the back, in the supine position, with the knees flexed


lying supine with the hips and knees flexed; used to assess the female genitalia and genital tract


a technique in physical examination of tapping the body with the fingertips toevaluate the size, borders, and consistency of some internal organs


using the sense of smell


instrument used to examine the external ear, the eardrum and the ossicles


instrument used to check pupillary reaction to light and to inspect the inner eye.

vaginal speculum

bi valved instrument, with two opening blades used for inspection of the vag cav. EMT-B's not authorized to use this.


instrument used to measure blood pressure

periodontal probe

instrument with a long blunt working end calibrated with one to ten millimeter markings that is used to measure periodontal pockets in the gums


an instrument, with a sharp pointed end, used for exploring the mouth, which helps the examiner detect breaks in enamel, check severity of decay and location popcorn husks and toothpick fragments

Physical Examination

is performed for routine screening, to promote wellness behaviors, for preventative health care measures, to determine eligibility for military service, and to determine the need for admission to a hospital or long term care facility.

Four Skills involved in a Physical Exam

Inspection, Palpation, Percussion, and Auscultation (olfaction may also be considered a skill)

Possible bowel obstruction

vomit with a feces odor

Possible infection

a cast with a musty odor

Possible diabetic acidosis

breath with a sweet, fruity odor

A general survey includes...

Gender, Age, sex, signs of distress, posture, body type, motor activity, gait, dress/grooming, hygiene, mental status, VS, systems check


pupils equal round and reactive to light, accomodation (do eyes adjust to objects as they are close and far away)

Reflex hammer

used to assess sensory and motor pathways; common tendon reflexes include the biceps, triceps, patellar and Achilles.

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