When you're examining a patient's chest, you start out by simply looking at them— by inspection. It will be hard to count the respirations visually on a healthy person's chest because it moves so little, but in a patient with respiratory distress, the chest might be overactive and strain may show in the neck muscles. Eve Bargmann, M.D., will also teach doctors about palpation, percussion, and auscultation of the chest and back.
For a full lesson on vital signs and chest examination, go to University of Virginia's School of Medicine Interactive Learning Module. The best way to prepare yourself for your small group exercises is to first watch the Vital Signs and Chest Exam video from beginning to end, then proceed through all the explanations in this module.