Monday, February 2, 2015

Study group discussion: How to do percussion

I can't seem to get the hang of percussion and I have OSCE exams coming up :(
Any tips?

What exactly are you having trouble with?

I was always told to just hit once and not repeatedly like a drum, just once or twice and listen.

Ok well I know the technique it just doesn't sound as loud as the docs that are training us.

Ahh i know that you mean, happens to me too, but I don't know how to make it louder, I just try really hard to focus and block all external sounds... Plus, I lean as close as I can to the patient without it being obvious.

I think in part it just comes with practice and gaining experience.

Yeah I'll keep practicing.

When I was first learning it the sound was very dull and I had to try a few times to hit the correct spot.
But now it's just two quick taps.

Make sure that you're not resting your palm on the patient since that can dull the sound.

Ok, I see.

And when tapping make it fast and strong, as if your fingers were hot and you just wanted to get it over with.

Some people tap and let the finger rest, which can also full the sound.

Someone told me to press the pleximeter firmly, it gives better results than trying to strike harder with the plexiform during percussion.

Our supervisor usually sits a far from the patients and asks one to tap until she can hear from a far.

But yeah..Quick double strikes and fast finger withdrawal.

Yes, you can tap as hard as you like but if you aren't pressing your finger down firmly you're not gonna get much.

Note that firmly does not mean hard.

You should not get tired from pressing down your finger.

Plus concentrate on the feel of the vibration against your fingers.

My taps are never really loud enough, but then I practised by percussing myself to know the feel. That's good enough.

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