Monday, March 9, 2009


We're finally getting to parts of the physical exam/assessment that I have never done before: bowel sounds! I thought it was going to be just "okay... another sound..." but I am absolutely fascinated with it! We listened to each other's bowel sounds, and then we used the SimMan to hear other sounds that most likely we don't have. And FYI, the bowel sound of diarrhea sounds exactly as diarrhea feels.

I've never palpated an abdomen before and it was slightly odd... As a woman, I try not to poke around at my female friends' stomachs, squishing around any wobbly bits. It just seems rude...

We percussed to measure liver sizes (mine is about 6.5 cm). I am really amazed at how much sound is actually produced by rapping one fingertip onto another finger! I'm getting pretty good at discerning the different tonal qualities and deciphering what organ I'm over.

But I learned a good lesson today; keep your nails short!!! I started percussing and my nail was slicing into my other finger! I wound up using the hammer because my nail was too long! oops!

The scratch test on the stomach to find the liver was just brutal because my partner and I are both insanely ticklish! We gave up after a while.

One more lesson I learned today: cats do not like having their ribs percussed. In fact, they bite when you try to do it.


  1. LOL@ practicing on the cat--I practiced on our alaskan malamute when I was in nursing school. He was actually pretty cooperative, LOL!

  2. good for you! I'm the worst percussionist EVER. I always managed to MISS my other hand in class, and tap the person's stomach with the wrong hand. :-p