Physical assessment for both adults and children begin with subjective and objective data. When it comes to the physical assessment of an adult, the relevant healthcare practitioners observe and ask the patient questions to collect the pertinent data. As opposed to the physical assessment of an adult, in the evaluation of a pediatric patient, nurses have to engage the parents or guardians of the patient. These professionals depend on the mentioned individuals to collect the medical histories, which include data such as immunization history, birth period, and developmental milestones among others, of the children and symptoms they have observed. While infants and toddlers may not be reliable sources of information about their ailments, School-age children are often eager to learn and understand the cause and effect of various developmental stages they pass through, therefore, they are included in their care (Falkner 11). Additionally, the assessment of these school-age children incorporates some of the methods used in adults’ assessment, such as inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation.
When undertaking a physical assessment on both infants and adults, a nurse needs to maintain an effective communication with the patients. A nurse should speak slowly and use simple words when communicating with a child during an assessment. For instance, during a medical examination, a nurse can use the word “touch” rather than “palpate” to enable the child understand what is going on (Green and Angel Falkner 3). Additionally, before engaging a child in a physical medical examination, a nurse must explain to the child about the assessment and let him or her make decisions associated with the procedure. Explaining to a child about some medical equipment associated with the particular procedure and using play or games are some of the important strategies that a nurse can use encourage a child to engage in the assessment. Besides, when communicating to an adult during an assessment, a nurse needs to use basic language and speak slowly at a measured pace to ensure that the patients are not disrupted. Before engaging an adult in assessment, a nurse should explain to the patient about the medical examination and let him or her make decisions associated with the procedure. Giving adult patients an opportunity to ask questions and express themselves is one way a nurse can use to encourage them to engage in an assessment.
Falkner, Angel. “Age-Appropriate Approach to Pediatric Health Care Assessment.” Health Assessment: Foundations for Effective Practice, Grand Canyon University, 2018.
Green, Sue Z., and Angel Falkner. “Adult Health Assessment.” Health Assessment: Foundations for Effective Practice, Grand Canyon University, 2018.