Last reviewed 01/2018

Auscultation of the chest should be performed in the following manner:

  • ask patient to cough up any sputum before listening

  • use the diaphragm of the stethoscope and consider the surface anatomy of the lungs

  • ask the patient to breath deeply through the mouth

  • listen at top, middle and bottom of both sides of the chest at the front and back and then in the axilla

  • assess the character of the breath sounds

  • assess the vocal resonance