When you talk to a patient about their main problem, you wish to know
- Where in the body is the problem?
- How severe (bad) it is? (For example, does it disturb sleep or work?)
- When did it start?
- What makes it better or worse?
- Has it happened before?
- What treatments has the patient taken so far?
Then comes the physical examination. Before and during the examination, you should
- explain which body part you wish to examine
- ask permission to do the physical examination
- give instructions before and during the examination
- ask if certain actions cause pain or discomfort, or improve the discomfort
Explaining which body part you need to examine
You should also, if needed, explain why you need to do this.
- “You cough is getting worse so I would like to examine your chest.”
Asking permission to examine
- “May I take a look at your chest?”
- “I’d like to (I would like to) examine your chest. Is that okay?” (We do not expect the patient to say “no”!)
WRITING EXERCISE A
Instructions: Below are common health problems. First, unscramble the capital letters at the end of each sentence to correctly spell the diagnosis or complaint. Then write your answer in the space.
- Write the FULL SENTENCE.
- Pay attention to spelling, punctuation, space between letters and use of capital letters.