Physical Assessment of the Bariatric Patient > Overview
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This module discusses the unique needs and situations associated with the physical assessment of the bariatric patient.


  • Describe the physical characteristics of the bariatric patient
  • Explain the special circumstances to managing the bariatric patient's airway
  • Be aware of the issues associated with cardiac monitoring, inserting IV, and taking patient's blood pressure
  • Know the patient may have mobility issues and assess accordingly
  • Be familiar with how to assess and treat skin integrity
  • Know the issues associated with elimination and GI
  • Respect the bariatric patient


Alpert, M.A., Terry, B.E., Hamm, C.R., Fan, T.M., Cohen, M.V., Massey, C.V., et al. (2001). Effect of weight loss on the ECG of normotensive morbidly obese patients. Chest, 119,507-510.

Bejciy-Spring, S.M.(2008). R-E-S-P-E-C-T: A Model for the sensitive treatment of the bariatric patient Hahler, B. (2002). Morbid obesity: A nursing care challenge. Dermatology Nursing, 14, 249-252, 255-256.

Linfors, E. W., Feussner, J. R., Blessing, C. L., Starmer, C. F., Neelon, F. A., & McKee, P. A. (1984). Spurious hypertension in the obese patient: Effect of sphygmomanometer cuff size on prevalence of hypertension. Archives of Internal Medicine, 144, 1482-1485.

Toh, S.Y., Zarshenas, N., & Jorgensen, J. (2009). Prevalence of nutrient deficiencies in bariatric patients.

Twedell, Diane. (2003). Physical Assessment of the Bariatric Person. Journal of Continuing education in Nursing 345(4), p. 147.



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