As a Nurse or Nursing Student Using a Wheelchair, How Can I Perform a “Head-to-Toe” Physical Exam?

As a Nurse or Nursing Student Using a Wheelchair, How Can I Perform a “Head-to-Toe” Physical Exam?

You also may ask your patient to sit in a chair or non-rolling stool for part of the exam, lower the table or bed so that you can reach your patient more easily. Remember that many nurses complete the exam on the patient’s front side first, progressing to the back, which would require you to reposition yourself less frequently.

See how one nursing student using a wheelchair adapted to situations like this in the film entitled Open the Door, Get ‘Em a Locker. In addition, here are some specific suggestions on organizations and resources to increase your awareness about your rights and responsibilities:


If I Use a Wheelchair, How Can I Care for Patients with Contact Precautions?
If I Use a Wheelchair, How Can I Complete a Student Rotation in the Operating Suite?



Disclaimer: The National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities (NOND) does not offer legal advice but NOND does offer resources to help you understand your rights, protections, and responsibilities within various Disability Rights Laws.

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