A bedside test or bedside examination is a catch-all term for tests that a doctor or other medical professional can do easily and with minimal equipment. The term was first used in reference to house calls, during which the doctor could use only that equipment that she could carry with her in her black bag. As such, these tests are medically relevant and professionally done, but also simple and often indicative rather than conclusive.
Today, the term bedside test usually refers to simple checklists, diagnostic tests, and visual examinations that will help determine which formal tests will be the most appropriate for a given patient. Nurses, general practitioners, speech language pathologists, rheumatologists, and all other medical professionals all have different bedside tests for various different suspected conditions.