Heart Exam 101 Flashcards Preview

Clinical Skills Lab > Heart Exam 101 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Heart Exam 101 Deck (11):

Define the three components of identifying yourself to a patient before a heart exam.

1. Always introduce yourself by name
2. Identify yourself as a medical student
3. Wash your hands in front of the patient


What should be done after a heart exam [logistically speaking]?

Clean your stethoscope!


After introducing yourself, what do you obtain from the patient?

Obtain consent from the patient after explaining the examination to them.


What's the first step to obtaining the most information from a heart exam?

Make sure you are directly upon the patient's skin. This necessity should be explained to the patient before the consent.


What needs to be considered when performing a cardiac exam on a woman?

Be aware that the cardiac apex is often covered by the left breast and, after explaining why it's important, you should ask the patient to lift their breast so you can examine the area.


Describe the 5-point approach to the cardiac exam.

1. General observation
2. Feel the arterial pulse - usually radial artery, but carotid, being more central, is better
3. Observe and estimate the jugular venous pressure
4. Inspect and palpate the chest
5. Auscultation of the heart


What are some common questions to ask yourself while observing a patient?

1. Does the patient look sick or well?
2. Are they anxious, in distress?
3. How is their breathing?
4. Do you notice any abnormal coloring?
5. Are there signs of a systemic disease in their face, skin, torso or extremities?


Define the components of the cardiovascular system.

1. muscular four-chambered heart
2. blood vessels [arteries, capillaries, and veins]
3. blood


Describe how the heart acts as two pumps supporting two different circulations in series with one another.

Pulmonary circulation is when the right side of the heart accepts deoxygenated blood and moves it to the lungs via pulmonary arteries. The next step begins the systemic circulation which is when the left side of the heart receives oxygenated blood via pulmonary veins and pumps the blood to the rest of the body.


Define atria.

Atria are thin-walled structures in the heart [one on the right & one on the left]. The right atrium receives deoxygenated blood from the venae cavae. The left atrium receives oxygenated blood from the pulmonary veins.


Define ventricles.

The ventricles receive blood from the right and left atria, respectfully. The ventricles contract to send deoxygenated blood to the lungs and oxygenated blood to the systemic circulation. The ventricles are far more muscular than the atria.