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Clinical Examination Skills


The role and function of the nurse is rapidly changing, and nurses are now required to undertake a comprehensive clinical examination of patients, a responsibility traditionally undertaken by a doctor. Clinical Examination Skills is an accessible, introductory guide to helping nurses fulfil this role, enabling them to understand the core skills and knowledge needed to assess patients competently. This practice-based book will be invaluable to pre-registration nursing students and newly qualified nursing staff, empowering them to meet the challenges of autonomous practice.
Chapter 1- Overview of taking a history and clinical examination.

Chapter objectives.

Taking a history e.g. medical, family, drugs, social etc.

Consent issues.

Clinical examination.


Chapter summary.

Chapter 2- Symptoms of diseases.

Chapter objectives.


Chest pain.


Altered conscious level.




Chapter 3- Examination of the Cardiovascular system.

Chapter objectives.


Peripheral vascular assessment.

Pulses, peripheral/central.

Blood pressure.


Palpation of the precordium.

Auscultation of the heart.

Chapter 4- Examination of the respiratory system.

Chapter objectives.

Respiratory history.

Peripheral assessment of respiratory disease.



Chapter 5- Examination of the gastrointestinal system.

Chapter objectives.

GI history.

Peripheral assessment of GI disease.

Inspection/palpation/percussion/auscultation of abdomen.

Digital examination of the rectum.


Chapter 6- Examination of the neurological system.

Chapter objectives.

Neurological history.

The unconscious patient.

Assessment of conscious level.

Examination of cortical function & cranial nerves.

Peripheral assessment of neurological function Chapter 7- Examination of the skeletal system.

Chapter objectives.

Skeletal history.

Examination of hands, shoulders, hips, knees & spine

  • Written by a leading expert in the area

  • In the ‘Essential Clinical Skills for Nurses’ series

  • Integrates theory with practice

  • Written from a UK perspective