12.1 Abdominal Assessment Introduction

Learning Objectives

  • Perform an abdominal assessment
  • Differentiate normal and abnormal bowel sounds
  • Modify assessment techniques to reflect variations across the life span
  • Document actions and observations
  • Recognize and report significant deviations from norms

A thorough assessment of the abdomen provides valuable information regarding the function of a patient’s gastrointestinal (GI) and genitourinary (GU) systems. Understanding how to properly assess the abdomen and recognizing both normal and abnormal assessment findings will allow the nurse to provide high-quality care to the patient.


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