Health Assessment

Health Assessment Page

Disclaimer: I am no longer actively teaching this course, and professors may have made changes. Let me know if you have any questions regarding discrepancies.

Below are the topics, handouts, and notes for Health Assessment. If you click on the title of a topic, you will be taken to the lecture files (mp3) for that topic. Alternatively, you may download the lectures as a zip file or subscribe as a podcast.

Health Assessment Lectures: Podcast Feed Subscribe with iTunes Download as Zip File (194 MB)

Introduction to Health Assessment

Welcome to Health Assessment. You will need the following items for class:

  • Stethoscope: I recommend Littman stethoscopes, with the Classic 2 being the lowest end version we recommend. The cost is about $65-$75, but the quality is much higher than lower end stethoscopes. Sometimes you can find a “student package” which includes alternate ear pieces at no extra cost. Always get that if you can. You can also get the MDF brand equivalent if you like.
  • Penlight: I recommend getting one with a replaceable battery and aluminum shell. They can be had for less than $5 at Walmart.
  • Watch with second hand (or indicator if digital).

Health Assessment Syllabus
Health Assessment Schedule

Class Handouts:

Class notes:

Introduction Lectures

HA Interviewing Techniques: Cultural considerations. Prejudice. Stererotype. Discrimination…not what you think they are. Cultural Values Housekeeping. The textbook information has changed. I now prefer Swartz, Textbook of Physical Diagnosis. About me. Concepts of house. Documentation. Privacy. HIPAA. Subjective and Objective data. H&P, SOAP, and DARP formats. SBAR reporting. Interviewing techniques. Appearance and rapport. Introductions. Phases of interview. Introductory script: “Hello, Mr. …, my name is… I am going to… Let me check your name band.”

General Videos

MidTerm Checkoff Video

Final Check off

Bed Assessment

All Health Assessment Videos in Playlist


Key Points:

  • History is always subjective.
  • History includes present things, not just the past.
  • History can be from the patient or from family, caregivers, or other healthcare personnel.
  • A review of systems is a series of questions.

Class Handouts:

Class notes:

Vital Signs and General Survey

General Survey is the first objective assessment of health.
Vital signs are the “signs of life.”

Class notes:

Skin Assessment

Assessment of Skin, Hair, and Nails. Remember that practically everything you see on an attractive person is dead.

Class notes:

Respiratory Assessment

Respiratory and chest assessment. Chest includes the back, not just the front. As long as we’re back there, we’ll do a spinal assessment also.

Class notes:

Cardiovascular assesssment

Cardiovascular assessment includes the skin, heart, arteries, and veins.

Class notes:

Abdominal and GI assessment


Class notes:

Diagnostic Tests and Midterm

This week you will have your midterm check off. See the Intro or the course page for the handout. You will have 10 minutes to complete the assessment. There is a video example of the check off.

You will also have a test this week on all the material to date.

Diagnostic Tests will not be discussed in class (unless you ask specific questions). There will be a quiz next week on it, and they will be on the final.

Class notes:


Assessment of the Musculoskeletal system
This topic Includes a video. (Click on the title to access the video)

Class notes:


Neurological Assessment

Neuro assessment includes mental status, sensory, motor, and coordination.

Class notes:


Eyes, Ears, Nose

This module will span two weeks. The first week is head and neck assessment, and the second week is eyes, ear, nose. And yes you really do need to remember all 12 cranial nerves…in order…AND what they do…and how you assess them.

Class notes:


Head and Neck

Eye Chart

Eye Exam

Ears Nose and Throat Assessment

Head – Complete Exam


Genitourinary assesssment

Assessment of male and female genitalia and urinary system.
Also includes rectal assessment.

Class notes:

application/ iconGenitourinary notes

Developmental Assessment

This topic is just a brief overview of Erickson’s and Piaget’s theories. We do not do any formal assessment in class, but you will in clinical and especially in Maternal/Child clinical. You should always keeps stage of life in mind when interacting with patients and their families.