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Auscultation of the heart is a key element of patient assessment, and often provides the initial indication of heart disease. Skill in the interpretation of auscultation findings requires experience and a working knowledge of normal parameters. This program adds to your knowledge base, the information that is needed to detect and evaluate heart murmurs. Factors in the pathogenesis of a heart murmur, types that may be heard, and the characteristics that distinguish one from another are emphasized.

  • Agenda

  • Read the Overview and Course Objectives.
  • Study the Terminology.
  • Read the course material.
  • Complete the Learning Activity.
  • Complete the Post Test with a score of 80% or more.

    The material is organized around the following categories:

  • Introduction
  • Normal Heart Sounds
  • Valve Dysfunction
  • The Clinical Significance of Heart Murmurs
  • Timing
  • Onset and Duration
  • Intensity or Loudness
  • Pitch
  • Area of Maximum Intensity
  • Mitral Regurgitation
  • Tricuspid Regurgitation
  • Ventricular Septal Defects
  • Aortic Stenosis
  • Pulmonary Stenosis
  • Atrial Septal Defects
  • "Innocent" Systolic Murmurs
  • Diastolic Murmurs
  • Murmurs of Mitral Stenosis
  • Diastolic Murmurs of Aortic Regurgitation
  • Murmurs of Pulmonary Regurgitation
  • Conclusion

    The purpose of this program is to provide nurses an understanding of how to interpret the different types of heart murmurs heard upon auscultation.

    After completing this course, the learner should be able to:

  • Describe the anatomic structure of the heart, and the position of all four heart valves during systole and diastole.
  • Review the impact of valvular regurgitation or stenosis in the development of heart murmurs.
  • Describe the characteristics of heart murmurs using the terms timing, duration, location, radiation, intensity, pitch, and quality.
  • Recognize specific characteristics of systolic murmurs including mitral regurgitation, aortic stenosis, tricuspid regurgitation, and pulmonic stenosis.
  • Recognize specific characteristics of diastolic murmurs including mitral regurgitation, aortic stenosis, tricuspid regurgitation, and pulmonic stenosis.
  • Correlate the physiologic significance of systolic and diastolic murmurs with the patient's history and current status.

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