What are the steps in the general examination of a child?

  • The introduction to the child
  • The review of any referral information
  • Recording basic observations
  • Taking a history
  • The physical examination
  • Special investigations
  • Drawing up a problem list and making a diagnosis if possible
  • Planning any intervention that is needed

The letters ‘SOAP’ remind us of the 4 main steps of a general examination:

  1. Story (the history or subjective information)
  2. Observation (what you observe during the physical examination, the objective information)
  3. Assessment (the list of problems and diagnosis)
  4. Plan of action (what needs to be done)

The four main steps in the examination are the story, the observation, the assessment of the problems, and the management plan.

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