Gastrointestinal System Disorders Q 36 - Gyan Darpan : Learning Portal
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Saturday, 16 April 2022

Gastrointestinal System Disorders Q 36

The nurse is performing an abdominal assessment and inspects the skin of the abdomen. The nurse performs which assessment technique next?
    A. Palpates the abdomen for size
    B. Palpates the liver at the right rib margin
    C. Listens to bowel sounds in all four quadrants
    D. Percusses the right lower abdominal quadrant

Correct Answer: C. Listens to bowel sounds in all four quadrants

The appropriate sequence for abdominal examination is inspection, auscultation, percussion, and palpation. Auscultation is performed after inspection to ensure that the motility of the bowel and bowel sounds are not altered by percussion or palpation. Therefore, after inspecting the skin on the abdomen, the nurse should listen for bowel sounds.

Option A: The ideal position for abdominal examination is to sit or kneel on the right side of the patient with the hand and forearm in the same horizontal plane as the patient’s abdomen. There are three stages of palpation that include superficial or light palpation, deep palpation, and organ palpation and should be performed in the same order.
Option B: The examiner should begin with superficial or light palpation from the area furthest from the point of maximal pain and move systematically through the nine regions of the abdomen. If no pain is present, any starting point can be chosen. Several sources mention that the abdomen should first gently be examined with the fingertips.
Option D: A proper technique of percussion is necessary to gain maximum information regarding abdominal pathology. While percussing, it is important to appreciate tympany over air-filled structures such as the stomach and dullness to percussion which may be present due to an underlying mass or organomegaly (for example, hepatomegaly or splenomegaly).

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