Nurses conducting physical exams

  1. 0
    Hi all,

    I have a general question. I am starting nursing school and am really excited. I have been looking through my textbook and saw several chapters on doing physical exams such as vaginal, breast, prostate, etc. I have no problem with this type of work, but my question is this: I have never had a nurse do those kinds of exams on me--it is usually the nurse who gets you going at the appointment and then the doc comes in and does a thorough physical exam. I guess I am confused as to roles and where the scope of a nurse ends and a doctor's begins? I know this is something I will learn about eventually, but as I said, I am excited and this question is bugging me.
    Thanks in advance!

    CindyJane
  2. 2,374 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  3. 5 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Hi, CJ

    Those topics were in my textbooks as well, but we didn't cover them in class or labs.

    I'm thinking that maybe higher level nursing classes use some of the same textbooks??

    Hopefully somebody will show up that knows the answer...I'm not much help at all
  5. 0
    Quote from CindyJane
    Hi all,

    I have a general question. I am starting nursing school and am really excited. I have been looking through my textbook and saw several chapters on doing physical exams such as vaginal, breast, prostate, etc. I have no problem with this type of work, but my question is this: I have never had a nurse do those kinds of exams on me--it is usually the nurse who gets you going at the appointment and then the doc comes in and does a thorough physical exam. I guess I am confused as to roles and where the scope of a nurse ends and a doctor's begins? I know this is something I will learn about eventually, but as I said, I am excited and this question is bugging me.
    Thanks in advance!

    CindyJane
    Hello, CindyJane,

    MANY nurses do the vaginal exam, especially in OB. That is ALL nurse until the physician comes in briefly. Breast exams are done by many nurses as well.

    I did not do prostate exams until I was an NP, however.
  6. 0
    Yes, RN's do physical exams all the time. The focus of the exam may vary, depending on where you work, ex:if you are in OB you will likely do vaginal exams rather than prostate exams. Public health RN's, emplyee health, Occ med nurses all do physicals. Likely, if you were at your own docs for an appt it was an MA who took you to the room, got your vitals and then sent the doc in.


    Quote from CindyJane
    Hi all,

    I have a general question. I am starting nursing school and am really excited. I have been looking through my textbook and saw several chapters on doing physical exams such as vaginal, breast, prostate, etc. I have no problem with this type of work, but my question is this: I have never had a nurse do those kinds of exams on me--it is usually the nurse who gets you going at the appointment and then the doc comes in and does a thorough physical exam. I guess I am confused as to roles and where the scope of a nurse ends and a doctor's begins? I know this is something I will learn about eventually, but as I said, I am excited and this question is bugging me.
    Thanks in advance!

    CindyJane
  7. 0
    Another reason that these things are the book is because you may be expected to assist with these exams. If I am assisting someone (doc for example), I want to know what they are doing.
  8. 0
    In my practice I don't do those kinds of physical exams. Knowledge is a good things.

    The nurse practioner school here uses volunteers and performs those exams on those people. But the BSN program does not.


Top