Blood pressure issues

  1. Hi everyone! I'm currently in a vocational program for nursing, at the end of January my class will be shadowing nurses in active hospitals, in order to go we must all know how to take a blood pressure reading manually. I'm the last one in my class that can not take a blood pressure correctly. I know how to put the cuff on, use the stethoscope, and use the cuff valve, however I can not hear the first beat! I can hear it sometimes but other times I can not, I really want to go to the hospital with my class, can anybody help me?
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    About Joselyn

    Joined: Jan '13; Posts: 3


  3. by   Esme12
    Sometime in your are pressing down too much/hard and obscuring the sounds.....relax. ((HUGS))
  4. by   Nicole1354
    Here is some tips my professor gave us.

    1. Find the radial pulse with finger tips.
    2. Inflate the cuff until you no longer can palpate the radial pulse. (When you can't feel it beat any more)
    3. That will give you a rough idea of what your systemic pressure will be.
    4. Deflate the cuff and wait 15-30 seconds.
    5. Place your stethoscope on the brachial artery. ( do not press too hard, make sure the tubing isn't touching any of your clothing, try to have the room quiet)
    6. Re inflate the cuff 20-30 mm/hg further then what your estimated systemic pressure was.
    7. SLOWLY. Let the air out and listen for the first sound- it should be close to the number you seen when you were palpating the radial pulse.

    Let me know if this helps at all. I was trying to summarize what my prof said.
    Good luck and remember practice makes perfect :-)
  5. by   Joselyn
    Thank you guys(: I'll try to practice in my class tomorrow,
  6. by   nurseprnRN
    Don't forget to let the cuff down completely and raise the arm overhead to empty the veins in between the radial artery pulse check and starting the whole BP measurement. If you leave the cuff up enough to occlude venous drainage while you go and blow it up higher, you get resistance to capillary outflow and an artificially-increased diastolic pressure.