am I the worlds worst nurse?

  1. Yikes, I responded to a student post about checking poptiteal pulses and another responder mentioned every nurse should be checking their patient's radial and pedal pulses on every assessment! I've been in many areas of acute care and out patient nursing. The past 10 years my patients have been connected to pulse oximeters and auto bp cuffs. Even 15-20 years ago when my patients weren't connected to any monitors I would never think I should check radial and pedal pulses on every patient! Sure I can think of many reasons I would check various pulses. But geez, a kind of baseline healthy patient admitted with asthma, I'm going to check their pedal pulses???? What am I missing here?
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   choc0late
    I know the world of teaching nursing students differs greatly from the world we enter after graduation, but during clinical we do check the pedial and radial during every assessment. Each nurse I have shadowed also always checks that. Now has a Dr ever checked mine during an exam? No! But yeah, that's what my school is teaching us to do.
  4. by   That Guy
    I have always checked radial and pedal pulse on every assessment. You never know you could be missing something or something can always change. I did my internships in critical care and it is something they drove into my head to always check.
  5. by   racquetmom
    Quote from brownbook
    Yikes, I responded to a student post about checking poptiteal pulses and another responder mentioned every nurse should be checking their patient's radial and pedal pulses on every assessment! I've been in many areas of acute care and out patient nursing. The past 10 years my patients have been connected to pulse oximeters and auto bp cuffs. Even 15-20 years ago when my patients weren't connected to any monitors I would never think I should check radial and pedal pulses on every patient! Sure I can think of many reasons I would check various pulses. But geez, a kind of baseline healthy patient admitted with asthma, I'm going to check their pedal pulses???? What am I missing here?

    Yes you are! 15-20 years ago patients...how many years experience do you have and how can you still have a job? Just kidding. I am starting in the Fall and I can't even feel the dorsal pedal pulse, perhaps because I was trying on myself same goes for the popliteal which I knew was difficult and I am hit and miss on the femoral. Apparently, I will have to engage in lots of practice. I read that previous post and thought wow on every assessment as I never had anyone feel for dorsal pedal on me. I just got a kick out of your title worlds worst nurse when you have been at it a long time.
  6. by   mammac5
    My doctor checks my dorsalis pedis pulse when I go in for my annual...she checks my radial pulses to make sure they're equal.

    I check them on my patients...I mean, I'm checking their ankles/LE for edema anyway so I'm already in the neighborhood. While I'm there, I check for capillary refill in the toes. That's just me.
  7. by   CrazierThanYou
    Well, I'm just starting nursing school so I am no expert but I can say that I am 33 years old and I have had my pedal pulse checked ONE TIME. And I am a diabetic....
  8. by   mammac5
    Quote from CrazierThanYou
    Well, I'm just starting nursing school so I am no expert but I can say that I am 33 years old and I have had my pedal pulse checked ONE TIME. And I am a diabetic....

    That's nuts!
  9. by   BluegrassRN
    I work on a medical floor in a hospital, and I check every patient's pedal pulses with each assessment. Check their radials if they have some type of peripheral vascular/neuro disease or any cardiac issues.
  10. by   caroladybelle
    You never know.

    I admitted a M/S pt at 0100 in the morning, w/pneumonia, to a small town hospital. I was a new grad with the "assess head to toe" beaten into the brain. My preceptor was "do it quickly" so he could sleep. First, the BP was quite elevated. But the bigger issue. When I took off his footies, one toe was completely black, and well...crunchy. As I assessed the lower leg on that side was shiny and hairless. As I inquired about ,"well has anyone seen this?", he replied that Dr. X (oldtime country MD) told him that the toe would eventially dry up and fall off.

    I notified the admitting MD (my MD) who gave me an order for BP med, and gave me a "you must be kidding?". The next morning she was calling for vascular and surgery.
  11. by   emtoh17
    If you are not checking the radial and popliteal pulses, then how do you know what your baseline is?? And how in the world would you know what is normal or abnormal for your pt if you never checked in the first place???
  12. by   Anne36
    Im only a pre-nursing student so excuse me for jumping in , but this is the strangest thing I have ever heard of. Im almost 40 years old and at no time in my life recall having a pedal pulse checked even in the hospital. What do you have to have wrong with you to be getting that checked?
  13. by   CrazierThanYou
    Quote from Anne36
    Im only a pre-nursing student so excuse me for jumping in , but this is the strangest thing I have ever heard of. Im almost 40 years old and at no time in my life recall having a pedal pulse checked even in the hospital. What do you have to have wrong with you to be getting that checked?
    Diabetics should have their pedal pulse checked to keep an eye on circulation.
  14. by   emtoh17
    Usually vascular or cardiac disease and as previously mentioned, diabetics.

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