Well gosh-darned it! That dang BP! - page 2

by couldntbhappier 2,201 Views | 19 Comments

I could not take a blood pressure today, to save my life! I'm not beating myself up too badly, as we just learned to take vitals yesterday, but it got me to thinking: What's the most difficult thing for YOU or WAS the... Read More


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    I guess i need to practice more because i can't here anything either
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    BPs are very intimidating. But, with lots of practice, you will be surprised: they WILL become second nature. Honest.
    Make sure the ear pieces are forward in the ear canal. Towards your nose.
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    dont' get frustrated just of yet, when its your first time it is hard it was hard for me when i first did it in my medical assistant class and i know it down packed now once u do it more and more you will get the hang of it just always remember that the top beat you hear is the systolic and the bottom is the dystolic. Maybe you will just have to invest in a good stethescope because the ones they give you at schools are just plain cheap and you will not get a good hearing.
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    To graduate my CNA class, one of my skills was BP, the other was catheter care. The catheter care went through smoothly. When it was time for the BP I wasn't nervous, I mean I thought I had my skills down! But we used the dual steth's and maybe that was the problem...but my instructor found it strange that my partner who was being tested had a BP of 90/40. So she made me do it 3 times. She said she didn't hear it the first time, the second time she thought it was weird and the third time we switched arms and again I got 90/40. The girl had low BP and the situation was making me drip sweat profusely! (sorry if TMI lol) anyhow, I started feeling unsure about my confidence in BP but we double checked and she really did have 90/40 BP that day. Don't understimate yourself, I think the dual steth we used dulled the sound and made it seem unclear, but I ended up being right. Practice Practice Practice. I remember how hard it was for me to simply find a brachial pulse! Now, I can find it like second nature. It gets easier and becomes so natural! Good luck to all of you in your CNA programs. The experience (the class, not the dripping sweat of my final skills examination) was one of the best things I think I have ever decided to do.
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    Quote from Irene joy
    I know I had the hardest time getting blood pressures when we had to do it in lab for A&P. I know I probably suck at it right now, which is why I'm thinking of getting my own blood pressure cuffs to practice at home before cna classes start. I just had a hard time hearing, so many other noises going on in the room. I hear it also has something to do with the quality of your stethescope. Oh well. practice, practice, practice!
    I have a hard time taking blood pressure because I can hear my fingers cramping on the stethoscope. I can't determine where the beat is versus where my fingers are making noise. thankfully most places have the automatic BP cuffs.
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    Quote from DesertRain
    To graduate my CNA class, one of my skills was BP, the other was catheter care. The catheter care went through smoothly. When it was time for the BP I wasn't nervous, I mean I thought I had my skills down! But we used the dual steth's and maybe that was the problem...but my instructor found it strange that my partner who was being tested had a BP of 90/40. So she made me do it 3 times. She said she didn't hear it the first time, the second time she thought it was weird and the third time we switched arms and again I got 90/40. The girl had low BP and the situation was making me drip sweat profusely! (sorry if TMI lol) anyhow, I started feeling unsure about my confidence in BP but we double checked and she really did have 90/40 BP that day. Don't understimate yourself, I think the dual steth we used dulled the sound and made it seem unclear, but I ended up being right. Practice Practice Practice. I remember how hard it was for me to simply find a brachial pulse! Now, I can find it like second nature. It gets easier and becomes so natural! Good luck to all of you in your CNA programs. The experience (the class, not the dripping sweat of my final skills examination) was one of the best things I think I have ever decided to do.
    heheheh, I had really low blood pressure when we were practicing BP. 90/52 for me. I couldn't believe it either.
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    I'm not a CNA but I found this thread and had to sympathize with you all. The post about finding a pulse made me chuckle. I always in nursing school had the WORST time with pulses. I could just never seem to feel them unless they were really bounding. Well FINALLY in my last semester it dawned on me: when I was a young child I slammed my index finger of my dominant hand in a car door and about lost it! They managed to sew it back together but it is scarred and apparently has less pressure sensation. Now if I can't feel a pulse I will feel with my other hand... now I find them MUCH easier! :smackingf
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    BP's can be difficult, but they do get easier to find/take with practice. Brachial pulses have been one of the more difficult things for me, but mainly because I always practiced on myself, and my brachial has always been weak and thready, is the reason why it was harder for me. Bedpans were the hardest for me in school because I was afraid that I was going to spill all of its contents on the pt (ewww)!

    Remember when doing BP's on anybody and on any part of the body, to 1) eliminate all distractions, if possible, 2) place the stethoscope in the correct position just distal to the site, 3) make sure that the cuff is properly inflated and pumped up high enough, 4) make sure cuff is wrapped tight enough but not too tight, and 5) never guess the BP if you don't hear it! Be honest with yourself/pt/nurse/instructor/CNA examiner/etc. They will know if you are making up stuff, so do not lie. I can't tell you how many times I have taken a pressure manually right after someone else has and we come up with readings that are no where close to each other (ie - 110/72 v 160/72). #1 reasoning for error...did not pump up cuff high enough.
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    After several years sometimes I have to do it twice with the manual cuff. We use the electronic ones where I work mainly, so when I had to do LVN clinicals in a clinic that only used manual BP cuffs I had to do some bolld pressures twice. You have to have the diaphragm of the stethescope right over the artery. the best way to know where to put the diaphragm is feel for the brachial pulse. Most cuffs have an artery indicator. So line that up with where you feel the pulse, and put the diapragm right below it.Once you get the hang of it, its not too hard.

    The thing I had a hard time with as a newbie was . . . don't laugh . . . cleaning up poopy without barfing LOL
  10. 0
    I had a lot of problems with BP's in the beginning as well and I prayed very very hard that it would not show up on my state test and thank goodness it didn't... I still failed the first time around though just because I was so so nervous about it and had myself completely worked up about it that I wasn't totally focused on the task at hand(I had to change a soiled resident and I forgot to use soap and I forgot to take the dirty pad out from under the resident LOL)... the second time through though I aced it.

    I am lucky in my facility now because we have "Rosie" an automatic bp thinga majober LOL... I don't have to worry about anything but the resp. now and occasionaly the pulse because "Rosie" is so tempermental... LOL

    Not to scare you but in our facility I refuse to take bp on residents who have been in the facility for less than 24 hours because all of them that I have done it on have passed before the end of the 24 hours. the newer cenas don't understand mostly because I have not explained it to them... my first death happened when I was trying to take the resident's blood pressure and it scared me to pieces because I thought I did something wrong... the nurse laughed but I din't think it was funny then nor do I think it is funny now.... but I do realize that I didn't do anything wrong it was just a heart attack. A week later the second person passed on me and it too was a resident who had been in the facility for less than 24hrs... I had just taken vitals on the resident and then went to lunch. I barely got sat down and the girls were coming to get me because he passed... cried my eyes out and from then on have refused to take a bp on a new resident... I always have someone else do it LOL superstition maybe but scared to do it still.... after 4 years.


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