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Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms are diagnostic "tools" which help the assessor determine the condition of the patient.

The On-Line Medical Dictionary defines them as:  "Objective evidence of disease perceptible to the examining physician (sign) and subjective evidence of disease perceived by the patient (symptom.)"

In layman's terms, "signs" are those "things" that we can see, and "symptoms" are those "things" that the patient tells us.  For example:  Pain would be a symptom (you can't see it, but the patient can tell you that he/she has pain,)  Flinching or "guarding" when touching a painful area would be a sign that the patient is experiencing pain.






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Last updated: 04/13/13.