NCLEX RN Practice Question # 913

NCLEX Examination.

Practice Question # 913.


nclex examination


When performing an abdominal assessment, the specific order for assessment techniques is inspection, auscultation, percussion, and palpation.



  • Contour: Look down at the abdomen and then across the abdomen from the rib margin to the pubic bone; describe as flat, rounded, concave, or protuberant.
  • Symmetry: Note any bulging or masses.
  • Umbilicus: Should be midline and inverted
  • Skin surface: Should be smooth and even
  • Pulsations from the aorta may be noted in the epigastric area, and peristaltic waves may be noted across the abdomen.



  • Performed before percussion and palpation, which can increase peristalsis.
  • Hold the stethoscope lightly against the skin and listen for bowel sounds in all 4 quadrants; begin in the right lower quadrant (bowel sounds are normally heard here).
  • Note the character and frequency of normal bowel sounds: high-pitched gurgling sounds occurring irregularly from 5 to 30 times a minute.
  • Identify as normal, hypoactive, or hyperactive (borborygmus).
  • Absent sounds: Auscultate for 5 minutes before determining that sounds are absent.
  • Auscultate over the aorta, renal arteries, iliac arteries, and femoral arteries for vascular sounds or bruits with the bell of the stethoscope.

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