The patient must be exposed to complete your examination. It is important to respect the patient’s dignity at all times and minimise heat loss.

Start by explaining to the patient what you are going to do. Lay the patient flat in order to complete the abdominal examination. Remember this is an acutely ill patient. This needs to be a focussed examination looking for potential causes of acute deterioration.

Abdominal examination:

Top to toe examination:


Ear thermometer
Infrared thermometer

The patient’s temperature should always be checked.

Environment (bed side)