Process of examining someone is sick is called physical or clinical examination.
Doctor investigates the body of a patient to find signs of disease. He takes medical history from the patient (asking specific questions to find out useful information in formulating diagnosis - it is also called anamnesis). This useful information that patient gives to doctor is called symptoms. Complete examination of someone's sickness starts from the head and finishes at the extremities (arms and legs).
To evaluate general patient appearance and specific organ systems this methods are used first:
inspection (complete visualization of the client using naked eye)
body features – symmetry and abnormalities
breathing – frequency and volume, abdomen movements
odors and unusual sounds from the client
palpation (patient is felt with doctors hands to determine organs size, shape, firmness, or location)
• percussion (tapping with middle finger on a surface to determine the underlying structure of thorax or abdomen)
• auscultation (listening to the internal sounds of the body, usually using a stethoscope)
In practice the body temperature, pulse and blood pressure (together called vital signs) are usually measured first.
Checking body temperature – normal temperature is between 100.4 F and 101.4 F (elevated temperature can be sign of infection or inflammation)
• Blood pressure :
2 blood pressures are measured: a high systolic pressure which is the maximal contraction of the heart and the lower diastolic or resting pressure
The difference between these two pressures is called the pulse pressure
expansion of arteries as an effect of the heart beat
hearts beat rate is usually measured either at the wrist or the ankle and is recorded as beats per minute
the pulse varies with age: a newborn 130-150 beats per minute, a toddler's heart will beat about 100-120 times per minute, an older child's heartbeat is around 90-110 beats per minute, adolescents around 80-100 beats per minute, and adults pulse rate is anywhere between 50 and 80 beats per minute.
Respiratory rate (also varies with age but the normal range is 16-20 breaths/minute.
Basic biometrics is also taken from the patient:
After this first examination, specific tests follow. After this tests, doctor can formulate diagnosis (a list of potential causes of the symptoms). Specific tests can be taken in addition to confirm diagnosis.