Respiratory assessment Resources

01 September 2020
This article is the second in a two-part series on respiratory assessment. The first article looked at the importance of taking a patient history as part of assessment. This article goes on to address the various stages and techniques involved in physical assessment. It will give an overview of the process, looking at inspection, palpation, percussion and auscultation, and provides insight to technique. Integrating the physical assessment outcome with information gained from history-taking is also discussed. Using all of the gathered information and vital signs enables clinicians to process and decide on the patient’s problems. While this two-part series provides an overview of the assessment process, further in-depth training is essential for safe and effective patient outcomes.
01 October 2019

When undertaking patient assessment, including assessment of the respiratory system, it is important that general practice nurses (GPNs) use all their senses. Expensive equipment and multiple investigations are useful when assessing a patient’s respiratory function, but the initial assessment can often be undertaken using the senses — hearing, sight and touch — as well as basic equipment, such as a stethoscope. This article, the first part of a two-part series on respiratory assessment, looks at history-taking. The information given should be used as an adjunct to any face-toface teaching of respiratory assessment skills and may provide the novice nurse with an idea of what to expect when undertaking an advanced clinical skills course. The second article in this two-part series will focus on the physical aspects of respiratory assessment.