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Head Eyes Ears Nose & Throat Exam (HEENT) in Spanish

Head Eyes Ears Nose & Throat Exam (HEENT) in Spanish

This medical Spanish lesson focuses on talking through the Head Eyes Ears Nose & Throat exam in Spanish, also known as HEENT in Spanish.

We use the command tense (imperative) and detail all the right vocabulary to help your Spanish-speaking patients understand what you’re doing and basic results.

The HEENT exam focuses on a portion of the everyday physical exam that you need to be able to communicate. Therefore, we’ve included some helpful information for you to give instructions to your Latino patients and talk through the HEENT exam in Spanish.

Here is the HEENT exam lesson I taught to the Facebook group:

In the video I run through quite a bit of vocabulary for this exam in Spanish. For instance, here is a convenient listing of vocabulary that shows you how to give this HEENT exam in Spanish

A common way to tell your patients what you’re about to do is to use this phrase “I’m going to” or  “I need to”. Here are some examples of what you might tell your patients:

  • Voy a / necesito examinar  I’m going to / I need to examine
  • Voy a / necesito chequear  I’m going to / I need to check
  • Voy a / necesito escuchar  I’m going to / I need to listen to
  • Voy a / necesito mirar I’m going to / I need to look at
  • Voy a / necesito palpar I’m going to / I need to palpate
  • Voy a / necesito revisar : I’m going to / I need to review
  • Voy a / necesito tocar : I’m going to / I need to touch

To finish the above sentences, you need to first be careful to use the proper form of “you” for your patient. If your patient is an adult, you’ll use “Usted”. If your patient is not yet a teenager, it’s usually pretty safe to use the “Tú” form.

UstedMeaning
Voy a escucharle los pulmonesVoy a escucharte los pulmonesI’m going to listen to your lungs
Voy a examinarle los oídosVoy a examinarte los oídosI’m going to examine your ears
Voy a tocarle la cabezaVoy a tocarte la cabezaI’m going to touch your head
Voy a mirarle los ojosVoy a mirarte los ojosI’m going to look at your eyes
Voy a chequearle la narizVoy a chequearte la narizI’m going to check your nose
Voy a palparle el cuelloVoy a palparte el cuelloI’m going to palpate your neck

When you’re giving the instruction to your patient (what you need them to do), you’ll use the command tense in Spanish (called the imperative). In other words, here is how to give HEENT instructions to your patients in Spanish using both Usted and Tú forms.

UstedMeaning
No se mueva  No te muevas  Don’t move
Respire normal  Respira normal  Breathe normally
Respire profundo  Respira profundo  Breathe deeply
Dígame si algo le duele  Dime si algo te duele  Tell me if you feel any pain
Mire la luz  Mira la luz  Look at the light
Dígame si escucha algo  Dime si escuchas algo  Tell me if you ear something
No respire por favor  No respires por favor  Don’t breathe please
Inhale y aguante  Inhala y aguanta  Inhale and hold it
Pase saliva  Pasa saliva  Swallow

Note: Remember the “h” is always silent in Spanish – and unlearning its pronunciation is tricky even for us pros! Some examples:

  • Alcohol  : Alcohol
  • Almohada  : Pillow
  • Anhelar  : To crave
  • Ahogar  : To drown, to suffocate
  • Cohibir  : To restrain
  • Deshinibido  : Uninhibited
  • Coherente  : Coherent

Karen’s Perspective

La única excepción para la regla de la H muda en español es cuando va precedida de una C, formando un “dígrafo”, es decir, la unión de dos letras que crean un solo sonido. Algunos ejemplos:

  • Choza  : A hut
  • Chequear : To check
  • Enchilada  : You know what it is 😉
  • Charlar  : To chat, to talk
  • Chico / chica  : boy / girl

Study HEENT exam vocabulary in Spanish with these flashcards

Keep up the good work speaking responsible Spanish to your patients! Check out our other books, classes & products to help you learn medical Spanish!

Rory Foster
Rory Foster
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Rory is passionate about the Spanish language, an expert instructor, and specifically energized by the practical use of language in industry & community settings.
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