Medically Fit For Exams
Medically Fit For Exams

Nose and throat swabs

  • Wash hands and introduce yourself
  • Check the patient’s name and DOB
  • Explain the procedure and gain consent


Throat swab preparation

  • Equipment you need:
    • Gloves
    • Swab


Taking throat swab

  • Ask the patient to open their mouth and look upwards a little
  • Advance the swab, avoiding the tongue and sides of the mouth
  • Touch the base of a tonsillar pillar, sweep upwards, across the uvula and down the other tonsillar pillar
  • If the tonsils are inflamed, attempt to make contact with both of them
  • This should be possible in one sweep/gag

Nose swab preparation

  • Equipment you need:
    • Gloves
    • Swab (thin tipped to reduce discomfort)


Taking nose swab

  • Position the patient’s head facing very slightly upwards
  • Place your thumb on the patient’s nose tip, bracing your fingers on their forehead
  • Insert the swab into the base of the nostril, parallel with the roof of the mouth/the ground
  • Insert about an inch and a half until you feel the resistance of the turbinates
  • Twirl the swab around, leaving in the nose for 15-30 seconds 

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