I had an assessment performance exam yesterday. In front of our instructor, my lab partner and I had to assess each other’s skin, gastrointestinal, and neuromuscular systems. In the real world, we wouldn’t be doing large parts of the exam, but it’s useful to learn. While we perform the exam, we talked out loud so the instructor knew that we knew what we were doing.
It was my turn and I was about to assess my partner for sensation in the face and extremities (arms and legs). To do this, you have the patient close their eyes and tell them that you will lightly brush their skin with different stimuli (in this case either a cotton wisp, the blunt end of a tongue depressor, or the end of a unwound paperclip). The patient is to tell the examiner where they feel the sensation and whether is was the soft, blunt, or sharp stimulus.
I never practiced exactly how I was going to say it out loud. What came out was, “OK, close you eyes and I’m going to touch you in various places.”
There was a pause in the exam as my instructor and lab partner laughed heartily. Yeah, that was fairly inappropriate.