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Tips and Tricks for Assessments


Just wanted to open this up to get some tips/tricks for physical assessments. I am new to school nursing and no peds background. I have had kids start with physical complaints (sore throat, head aches, etc). I had a heck of a time trying to evaluate an 8 year old's throat. Luckily, he asked to use the bathroom when in the office so I had a minute to look up tricks and found one telling him to "Pant like a dog" to help visualize the throat - It totally worked and I could see his throat clearly! Just wondering what other techniques people use and that work when working with kids


Specializes in Pediatrics Retired.

I'm on the Elementary level. Generally, The only time I look in a kid's mouth or throat or ears is for injury assessment; not for illness assessment. Of course there is the temperature, skin color, alertness, and others signs you can use for assessment but the number one sign that is the most important assessment tool for me on the elementary level is heart rate. If a child has a normal heart rate for their age they are not in any physical distress. This age group of children will have an elevated heart rate with fever, respiratory issues such as wheezing, dehydration (more common at this time of year),etc. So, for me, pulse rate is the gold standard for physical assessment.