How To: Perform a HEENT exam (head, ears, eyes, nose & throat)

Perform a HEENT exam (head, ears, eyes, nose & throat)

Most won't know what the acronym HEENT stand for, but if you're a medical student, doctor or nurse, you know that it stand for head, ears, eyes, nose and throat. To perform a HEENT examination properly, you must know all the steps and techniques to diagnose your patient. This video lesson will outline the examination procedure, from start to finish, and shows you general palpation techniques and examining the temporomandibular joint, superficial lymph nodes, thyroid gland, eyes, ears, nose, mouth and throat. You will be able to identify the significance of a positive finding in these tests.

* Inspect for asymmetry, deformity, scars, lumps, involuntary movements, hair loss, or edema

* Palpate the head and neck for tenderness, deformity, and masses

* Place fingers in front of the tragus of both ears
* Ask patient to open and close their mouth
* Note any tenderness, crepitus, or loss of ROM

Superficial Lymph Nodes:
* Systematically palpate the following: Occipital, Postauricular, Preauricular, Tonsillar, Submandibular, Submental, Anterior Cervical, Supraclavicular

Thyroid Gland:
* Inspect for obvious enlargement
* Position self behind patient
* Palpate cricoid cartilage
* Move downward two or three rings
* Palpate for the thyroid isthmus
* Move laterally to both thyroid lobes
* While palpating, ask the patient to swallow- provide a cup of water if possible

External Eye:
* Inspect for ptosis, exophthalmos, lesions, deformity, or asymmetry
* Pull down lower lid while asking patient to look up to inspect conjunctiva and sclera
* Spread lids while asking patient to look in 4 directions to inspect bulbar surface
* Repeat on other side
* Wash hands before and after this portion of the exam

Go to OPETA for the rest of the written instructions, including eye movement, external ear, otoscopic exam, nose exam, and mouth and throat exam.

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