12. Inspect for grooming and cleanliness.

13. Inspect for color and markings.

14. Inspect shape.

15. Palpate texture and consistency.

16. Test for capillary refill.

Objective data: Head, neck and lymph nodes

Adapted from Weber, Kelly & Sprengel, 2014: Lippincott, with permission.


Questions Findings

Head and Face

1.Inspect head for size, shape, and configuration.

2.Palpate head for consistency while wearing gloves.

3. Inspect face for symmetry, features, movement, expression, and skin condition.

4. Palpate temporal artery for tenderness and elasticity.

5. Palpate temporomandibular joint for range of motion, swelling, tenderness, or crepitation by placing index finger over the front of each and asking client to open mouth.


6. Inspect neck while it is in a slightly extended position (and using a light) for position, symmetry, and presence of lumps and masses.

7. Inspect movement of thyroid and cricoid cartilage and thyroid gland by having client swallow a small sip of water.

8. Inspect cervical vertebrae by having client flex neck.

9. Inspect neck range of motion by having client turn chin to right and left shoulder, touch each ear to the shoulder, touch chin to chest, and lift chin to ceiling.

10. Palpate trachea by placing your


finger in the sternal notch, feeling to each side, and palpating the tracheal rings.

11. Palpate the thyroid gland.

12. Auscultate thyroid gland for bruits (use both bell and diaphragm of stethoscope).

Lymph nodes: Palpate lymph nodes for size/shape, mobility, and tenderness (refer to display on characteristics of lymph nodes)

13..Preauricular nodes (front of ears)

14. Postauricular nodes (behind the ears)

15. Occipital nodes (posterior base of skull)

16. Tonsillar nodes (angle of the mandible, on the anterior edge of the sternocleidomastoid muscle)

17. Submandibular nodes (medial border of the mandible); do not confuse with the lobulated submandibular gland