Zeroing the transducer...help?!

  1. Can someone please please please talk me through zeroing a line, such as an art line or cvp line? I'm new to critical care and go so intimidated with all these lines. My biggest issue is when I have to zero the line. I have so many silly questions:

    1. Do I flush the line first?
    2. When I place the sterile cap back on the stopcock?
    3. When do I press the zero button on the monitor?

    A step by step instruction would really help!!! I know I have to turn the line off the patient (stopcock pointing toward the hard cable) and then remove my sterile cap)...but after that I screw up lol.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   meandragonbrett
    1) Turn stopcock off to patient
    2) Remove cap
    3) Press "Zero"
    4) Replace cap
    5) Turn stopcock back to neutral
  4. by   Five&Two Will Do
    Quote from meandragonbrett
    1) Turn stopcock off to patient
    2) Remove cap
    3) Press "Zero"
    4) Replace cap
    5) Turn stopcock back to neutral
    I always throw in a good flush to look for a plateau in my wave form too.
  5. by   cwhitebn
    Thanks for the help!!! Really appreciate it!
  6. by   angle85
    "1) Turn stopcock off to patient
    2) Remove cap
    3) Press "Zero"
    4) Replace cap
    5) Turn stopcock back to neutral"


    excellent
    simple and clear
    but some types of caps contain a hole in side it, so no need to remove it


    remember:
    if arterial line the pressure in cuff to be 300 mmHg

    the flush is very important and some times if you interface a problem reinsure there is no air bubbles inside tube to give accurate reading.
  7. by   RN1980
    above is correct, but always give a decent flush to the open to air 3 way port before you re-cap and turn the stop cock open to pt. its also a good time to re-level your transducer if needed before you hit the zero button.
  8. by   Da_Milk_of_Amnesia
    Check you're square wave and make sure you're not over/underdampened
  9. by   Maevish
    Also, wait for the '0' on the screen before putting the cap back on
  10. by   MegNeoNurse
    Quote from meandragonbrett
    1) Turn stopcock off to patient
    2) Remove cap
    3) Press "Zero"
    4) Replace cap
    5) Turn stopcock back to neutral
    Yes, that exactly.
  11. by   gonzo1
    at what step in the procedure do you flush?
  12. by   hodgieRN
    Before you zero it. You flush it to make sure it is nice and patent. Assess everything is working properly or there's no point in zeroing it if you can't use it. Then, you can flush after zeroing and check for a square wave as mentioned above.
  13. by   SICU XYRN
    Before the five steps given, make sure your transducer is level with the patient's phlebostatic axis (4th intercostal space and half the diameter of the chest). You want the cap that you will remove to be level with that.
    Next, if your waveform doesn't look right (ask some nurses you work with to show you dampened waveforms), I would flush then to see if your waveform changes to a better one. If your waveform is fine, you do not need this step.
    After those two steps, then proceed with the other steps.

    Advanced tips after zeroing CVP: Look at the differences between the waveforms of ventilated and non-vented patients. The place where you read the CVP and record it will be different depending.
  14. by   RNjoy1022
    This is so me! Lol I hate the zeroing!!

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