Blood pressure

  1. Hi, I am a first year student in a 2 year nursing program. In our first day of clinicals we learned how to do blood pressure and I have been lost every since. I bought a blood pressure cuff and have been practicing, but as soon as I get into the skills lab I can't hear a thing! I am going to fall behind if I can't show this skil soon. Does anyone have any advice on how to hear a blood pressure more accurately? Please help!

    Teresa
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   PhantomRN
    I remember doing that for the first time. WOW.

    Anyway, might I suggest:
    Line up the arrow on the cuff with vein of the arm, so the bladder is in the right location.
    Have the arm straight.

    And the mistake I would do so I could not hear was:

    When I put the stethoscope in my ears, I would forget to turn my ear pieces forward aiming toward the nose. If you put the stethoscope on so the ear pieces go straight in then it does not follow the curve of the ear and reduces the ability to hear.

    (I had a habit of playing with my scope so I would straighten the ear pieces and forget I did it)
  4. by   BrandyBSN
    i had to buy a different scope freshman year, because I couldnt here ANYTHING.

    Might think about upgrading

    BrandyBSN
  5. by   GPatty
    Practice, practice and yet more practice!

    Hang in there, you'll get it!

    Julie
  6. by   Talino
    In my years of experience with BP checks, not all of them were audible enough to convince me of an accurate reading all the time.

    When you can't hear the brachial pulse after a few attempts, do the palpation technique (radial or brachial).

    1. FEEL for the pulse (radial or brachial). As you inflate the cuff that pulse becomes faint.
    2. As you deflate, feel for the first strong pulse and mark the reading.
    3. Now put your steth back in the brachial site. Inflate the cuff about 40 mm hg above your mark.
    4. Deflate slowly and listen for a brachial pulse. About 5-10 mm hg above (sometimes below) your mark you should be able to hear a pulse. It may be faint still but it's audible enough for a systole and diastole.

    Frequent BP practice reading will improve hearing that elusive pulse.

    More info on same issue on this thread.... (click on it)
    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...?threadid=9611

    ______________
  7. by   peaceful2100
    Blood pressures is not the easiest thing in the world for most people in the beginning. 1st off it may be the quality of the stethoscope I had a really cheap one at the beginning of my first semester and it was lousy and then a friend recommend litmmans classic SE and let me tell you it was really quite a switch and I love littmans. It was about $70 for me but some places sell them cheaper so shop around. 2nd of all it takes practice to be able to get the sounds down and what you are looking for. Like the saying goes practice makes perfect (or almost perfect). I was lousy in the beginning but now blood pressures are more comfortable for me expect when I have a larger person and the right size cuffs is not available now talking about frustrating.

    Keep the faith
  8. by   LJoyW_27
    i had a TERRIBLE time with blood pressures....bad. I started out with a littman classic II SE...(HS graduation present :-D)
    i couldn't hear anything with that...too much residual was picking up. I bought a sprague for $12 and could immediately hear things..i think it's because the littman was picking up so many things.it was so sensitive..i needed something not quite so accurate. maybe instead of upgrading you need to regress!! best of luck...I remember my BP lab simulation...I hope all goes well!
  9. by   Beverly McKee
    Mastering the skill of taking a blood pressure is difficult at first. I remember when I first learned this skill; and, I also strugled with hearing it. This is my second year of nursing school and I work at a hospital were I take blood pressures all the time and sometimes I still have problems hearing it. Practice! Practice! Practice! is my suggestion. I also think that making sure the ear pieces are pointing forward when in your ears (toward the nose) and feeling the pulse before taking blood pressure is very helpful. Don't give up!! You'll get it!! It's a skill, and like every skill we have ever learned in life, it comes with LOTS of practice.

    Beverly : )
    Last edit by Beverly McKee on Sep 19, '01
  10. by   mPalmer
    Originally posted by Beverly McKee
    Mastering the skill of taking a blood pressure is difficult at first. I remember when I first learned this skill; and, I also strugled with hearing it. This is my second year of nursing school and I work at a hospital were I take blood pressures all the time and sometimes I still have problems hearing it. Practice! Practice! Practice! is my suggestion. I also think that making sure the ear pieces are pointing forward when in your ears (toward the nose) and feeling the pulse before taking blood pressure is very helpful. Don't give up!! You'll get it!! It's a skill, and like every skill we have ever learned in life, it comes with LOTS of practice.

    Beverly : )

    You may think that mastering the skill of BP takes talent. It doesn't , it just takes practice and the right stethascope for you. You have had some good advice. Make sure the ear peices are turned the right way (towards your nose) and palpate if you havea difficult time. The stethascope is up to you. While you are procticing with friends and they have different ones that yours try theirs and see if you can hear with theirs. If you can think about getting one like theirs. Stay postive. Hang in there, you can do it.Don't forget to practice even once you think you have it though, it is easily regressed.

    Misty

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