Pediatric Physical Examination: Tips & Techniques

Oct 23, 19
Pediatric Physical Examination: Tips & Techniques

pediatric physical exam

In pediatrics, the history and physical examination is paramount. But even the most seasoned professional can have a challenge when facing a wiley 2-year-old. What strategies can you use to get in, get out, get the information you need, and maybe even make a (very small) friend in the meantime?

Physical Examination Tips & Techniques

  1. Make sure your patients feel safe and secure
  2. Prepare for your exam in advance
  3. Don’t ask permission, give choices
  4. Be flexible about when you do each part of the exam
  5. Use a tongue depressor for the oropharyngeal exam
  6. Let your patients examine the equipment
  7. Perform a “mock exam” on something or someone else
  8. Use your stethoscope to palpate the abdomen
  9. Always perform a genital exam on males with abdominal pain
  10. Always perform a genitourinary exam on all patients wearing diapers
  11. Ask the parent to help you localize the injury
  12. Positioning is key for a successful ear exam

Still having some pediatric anxiety after a perfectly performed physical examination? Check out how to manage pediatric anxiety in the ED.

Author information

Aditi Mitra, MD

Aditi Mitra, MD

Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellow
University of Michigan

The post Pediatric Physical Examination: Tips & Techniques appeared first on ALiEM.

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