Preparing for a physical examination

Remember to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer in the examining room before and after examining each patient. Excuse yourself and any siblings, if necessary, while the child dons a gown. Infants do not require draping for modesty, but may need partial covering to be kept warm and comfortable.

School age children like to be draped properly during the examination using a gown and sheet/blanket when needed. Be sure you use proper gowning and draping procedures for all children, regardless of age. Shirts and pants should be removed, in order to examine all skin surfaces and so as not to examine to the heart and lungs through clothing, which is not good technique. Leave on the underpants, for modesty, until getting to the genital exam. Proper gowning and draping provide comfort for all. Be sure the child has sufficient privacy when undressing.

Use a calm voice and talk to the parent and child throughout the exam as you perform each step, so there is understanding of what you are doing.