Respiratory Assessment > Overview
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The goal of this module is to familiarize the nurse with the assessment system and general assessment skills that provide the framework for data collection. This is an introductory level course to the general respiratory assessment process.

Learning Objectives

After successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify components of a systematic process for the respiratory assessment of a critically ill or emergency patient
  • Describe the general data collected in a respiratory assessment
  • Identify thoracic landmarks used in assessment
  • Describe the process of inspection for data collection
  • Describe normal breath sounds and the locations in which each are found during auscultation
  • Describe abnormal breath sounds
  • Relate abnormal breath sounds to underlying pathology
  • Describe the technique of palpation in a respiratory assessment


Bickley, L.S. and Szilagyi, P.G. (2003). Bates’ Guide to Physical Assessment and History Taking (8th ed). Philadelphia: Lippincott.

Urden, L.D., Stacy, K.M., & Lough, M.E. (2018). Critical Care Nursing Diagnosis and Management. (8th ed). Boston: Mosby.

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