stethoscope placement

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    I feel very embarrassed to ask this question, but I am. I'm in my first semester and we have been doing physical assessments on patients every week since school started, however, are check off isn't until tomorrow. I know the majority of the stethoscope placement, but still have a little trouble when it comes to listening to women. Are you supposed to lift up the left breast for heart sounds, or is the actual area just around it? Also is it the same for lung sounds? Thanks for any help!
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    We were taught in class to lift the breast if needed, but I would check with your clinical instructor in the morning before your checkoff just to make sure that is how they would like you to do it.
    Last edit by Fitzy819 on Apr 11, '10
  6. 1
    I take it you mean the apical pulse For us, all they did was stress 'left side mid clavicular, 5 intercostal space'...they didn't say anything about lifting anyone's breast and when I tested, it was on a female...and I didn't have to lift anything to get what I needed
    DolceVita likes this.
  7. 0
    Depends on the woman. Is the fifth intercostal midclavicular landmark obscured by the breast? Someone with pendulous large breasts may need them moved, someone with smaller breasts may not.

    For your assessment just make it very clear that you are palpating the intercostal spaces and adjust breasts accordingly.
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    thanks everyone! the check off it actually on the mannequin's, so all their breasts (the ones that have them) are pretty small anyways, just wanted to know for future reference also
  9. 0
    If a woman's breasts are pendulous, then yeah, it will have to be lifted up.
  10. 0
    If you do need to move one of the girls, have the patient lift it if poss or lift with the back of your hand.
  11. 0
    Thanks everyone, I'll remember all these tips for clinical. I did my checkoff today and passed!!
  12. 0
    Congrats - one thing I find is that some of these tasks seem simple when just practicing...but get stressful and difficult when someone is observing me with the intentions of passing/failing me
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    Quote from albacized
    Congrats - one thing I find is that some of these tasks seem simple when just practicing...but get stressful and difficult when someone is observing me with the intentions of passing/failing me
    most definitely, I'm fine, till I'm in front of the instructors! I'm only in my first semester and figured I'd probably have an ulcer by the time I graduate from nerves! Hopefully it passes as I gain more confidence.


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