infants apical pulse

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    i am having a hard time taking newborns apical pulses. i start ok but then i get fuster around 15 secs in and lose my count because there heart rate is so fast. i am asking for help from experience ob nurses on trick of the trade. this is my only vital sign i struggle with.
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    I had this problem last semester when in my OB/pedi rotation. Newborn nursery was my first rotation. I didn't realize that it would be so hard to take VS on a healthy patient!

    It wasn't until my pedi rotation that I learned The Trick. My pedi instructor said to count it in 15 sec intervals and then add up the 4 counts - much easier than 1,2,3,...77, 78....87,78..no wait, was I on 80 or 70?...crap, gotta start all over! She said it didn't have to be one single entire minute - that's practically impossible, just take 15 sec counts over a couple of minutes. Turns out that a LOT easier and FASTER than starting all over again. Would have saved me a lot of grief in my nursery rotation had I known then.
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    Quote from maolin
    It wasn't until my pedi rotation that I learned The Trick. My pedi instructor said to count it in 15 sec intervals and then add up the 4 counts - much easier than 1,2,3,...77, 78....87,78..no wait, was I on 80 or 70?...crap, gotta start all over! She said it didn't have to be one single entire minute - that's practically impossible, just take 15 sec counts over a couple of minutes. Turns out that a LOT easier and FASTER than starting all over again. Would have saved me a lot of grief in my nursery rotation had I known then.
    Yep, that's what we do in the NICU as well. Same for respirations - easier to count over 15 seconds and multiply by 4.
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    thanks good advice
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    I know it's silly, but I tap my toe- I don't think I do it on purpose, it's just what I do- somehow it keeps me on target.
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    Another silly hint that helps me, close your eyes, I dont know why but I can only listen if I cant see.
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    Quote from MissJoRN
    I know it's silly, but I tap my toe- I don't think I do it on purpose, it's just what I do- somehow it keeps me on target.
    Actually, that's on the right track. Another good method is to tap your finger as you count. In the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP), we are taught to do this so that everyone involved in the resuscitation can actually see how fast the heart is beating while they are working on the baby.
    pagandeva2000 likes this.
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    You might also try counting every other beat, realizing that you'll have to multiply by two.
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    Quote from BRANDY LPN
    Another silly hint that helps me, close your eyes, I dont know why but I can only listen if I cant see.
    Not silly at all! I close my eyes to listen for murmurs, especially if I think there is a soft murmur.
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    Quote from BRANDY LPN
    Another silly hint that helps me, close your eyes, I dont know why but I can only listen if I cant see.
    That's what I do! That and tap my finger...
    It was highly *recommended* by our Clinical Practice Managers that on babies less than 24 hours we listen for a full minute to assess for any abnormal heart sounds (irregular, regular, murmur, etc). I don't know why they limit it to 24 hours because I had a baby at 36 hours of age that would occasionally look what appeared to be facial congestion and it was a cyanotic heart defect-upon full assessment of the cardiac rate, the baby started out *normal* than abruptly be very bradycardic.
    Our NICU does a full 1 minute cardiac rate on all babies except strict feeders.


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