Blood pressure Help

  1. hi all!

    Can someone tell me what the trick is to measuring BP with a Sphygmomanometer? I can't hear the sounds . Do I look for a bump on the meter instead? I need tp practice but I need some hints!

    thanks!
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Sleepyeyes
    You might try:
    take the pt's pulse first--if the pt has a weak pulse, this may mean their BP sounds will also be weaker, as opposed to a bounding pulse (best ones to practice on )

    using a good stethoscope (i can't hear a thing with the cheapies) and tap the bell gently first to make sure you can hear

    be careful to place the cuff over the artery

    get the cuff on snugly enough

    ask the pt. to "drop" the arm--I tell Pt: "OK< just let your arm fall & don't try to hold it up for me", as tense muscles interfere with the sounds.

    pump the cuff to about 180 and let it off SLOWLY

    remember, each time you pump the cuff up within a 15-minute period will raise the BP, so try to get it the first time. if not, try the other arm.

    Practice, practice, practice you can do it!
  4. by   cactus wren
    First palpate radial pulse, keep fingers on pulse, pump up cuff above point where you cease to feel pulse, and slowly let pressure fall, note where you fell pulse again om dial, Now reapeat, but use your scope instead of fingers ..Aha!!! keep practising..........once you finally hear it you`ll be able to keep hearing it.....Many. many years ago, as a new na( no certification the, OTJ training only), I was having problems hearing also, after this exercise, my DON, gave me a rolly around , and sent me to MS, and I spent ALL day taking pressures, haven`t had a bit of trouble in the last 30 years.......:roll Ooops, now I`m teling how ancient I am, aren`t I ?? Good luck.
  5. by   WashYaHands
    Taking a blood pressure takes coordination and practice. You have to listen for the starting point at which the "bump" begins and look at the reading on the meter. Then, you listen for the point at which the "bump" ceases, and read the meter at that point. Example: Bump (120)....bump, bump, bump, bump.....silence (90). You coordinate 3 senses..listen, look, and feel (you turn the small knob slowly to decrease the pressure in the cuff until you get the first "bump". If you turn the knob too fast, you miss the sounds completely.

    Linda
  6. by   mario_ragucci
    (humor)
    Wha chew tawking about, spignomanometer?

    Just get chew one of dem eagle machines. Hafe da time its too noisey to think clear, let alone hear clear. Right?

    You gotta have quiet, but da machines always listening and being digital.

    Fo-get-about the bravado of understanding manual BP. You don't gotta impress none of us hear :-(
  7. by   CaliNurse
    Hey Suki,

    One thing that helped me when learning was to start at home. I couldn't hear in class. I took everyone's bp that would let me near them. People get a kick out of this. They like to know what theirs is. The other pointer I can offer to you is to make sure your patients is not talking to you. Often we go into the room and its their chance to talk with us but it makes if difficult to hear the exact start and stop of the bumps.

    Good Luck,

    Cali
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    GET A GOOD STETHOSCOPE! AND I MEAN GOOD ONE> w/o it, your readings will likely be inaccurate.
  9. by   shabookitty
    Suki

    I just learned how to take BP's too. It took about a day and 1/2 to get the hang of it...I found (as a beginner) to practice listening for the bump before trying to read it...And keep the room extremely quiet...at least until ya get used to it. I first tried on my mom (who was teaching me) and I could never hear. I was getting very discouraged let me tell you ...but I moved on to my husband (he has STRONG pulse) and it was so cool to hear it for the first time!!! Try to find someone with strong pulse to practice on...I was told to take on left side (closer to heart)...I don't know how true that rings.
  10. by   amylynn
    Mario is cracking me up! Would you all believe my husband came home last week from his first semester of nursing school disgusted because they were teaching him how to take a blood pressure with a sphygmo! He couldn't believe it because this was, and I quote, "not how the real world does it!" Now I can prove him wrong--people really do take b/p's with sphygmo's!
  11. by   Sleepyeyes
    PS
    Electronic BP machines give higher BP readings, by as much as 10mm hg
    Also, if the pt has widely spaced or irregularly spaced beats, the machine can shut down and read before that last sound.

    For general purposes, the electronics are easier and mostly accurate. On tele, we use a manual if we get a very high reading or if the pt is suddenly getting a weird rhythm on the monitor.

  12. by   Maral
    Also what effect does crossing of one's legs have on a BP reading? Does it make it higher or lower? First time I heard this was from an oncology RN. I was too self occupied to ask her the reason. Thanks for the info. Maral

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