Hearing BP's

  1. I have good hearing with everything else but struggle to hear heartbeats when doing BP's. I barely hear anything. I have a Littman Classic. Should I invest in an ultra sensitive steth ?
    Its so embaressing to always be the one who doesnt hear anything. (I seriously have no hearing problems) I just dont feel comfortable saying a BP is whatever when I barely heard a faint whisper.

    Are those ultrasonic steths better? or the cardiology ones? I'll pay more if its worth it.
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  3. by   EricJRN
    Before you run out and spend more money, you want to make sure it's not an issue of technique. One suggestion is to make sure your earpieces are facing slightly forward (toward the tip of your nose).

    Check out this thread which has lots of hints:

    https://allnurses.com/forums/f50/nee...ll-138933.html
  4. by   llg
    I agree that you should double-check your technique. But if your technique is correct and you still can't hear what other people can hear, you sould get a professional to assess your hearing. Maybe it's not as good as you think.

    A lot of people who lose some hearing gradually are unaware of it. They learn to compensate automatically and never realize they are becoming hard of hearing.

    I'd check the technique first, but if that isn't the cause, I would have my hearing checked.
  5. by   charebec65
    I agree with llg and Eric. I would double check technique and placement of the earpieces with a trip to an ENT/audiologist if those things check out. I am hard of hearing and the Master Classic II works for me. Good luck..
  6. by   Daytonite
    there is a virtual blood pressure cuff at the website i've listed below where you can play around with an online blood pressure cuff. turn on your computer's sound and you will hear the pulse and be asked what the blood pressure is!

    http://medicine.osu.edu/exam/ - from ohio state university college of medicine, an interactive guide to physical examination for 8 body systems that includes sound. to link into the interactive blood pressure cuff scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "take a blood pressure". a pop up window will come up. you click on the blood pressure bulb to start the inflation of the cuff. next you will hear the pulse and watch the needle of the manometer move. you will then tell the program what the final blood pressure is by keying what you believe is the final blood pressure. the program tells you immediately if you are right or wrong. it re-cycles to give you lots of practice over and over!
  7. by   moonischasingme1
    Hmm, I could never hear the beats either until I got my Littmann Classic? I love that thing now!!
  8. by   hospitalstaph
    I had a Littmann Classic and also had problems hearing BP's. I talked to some friends and family and all of them said that I talk loud So I am not sure if I have a hearing problem, but I do know that I have a very hard time tuning out background noise. So I bought a Littmann 3000 and I have no problems now. As the others said, check your technique first.

    T
  9. by   allthingsbright
    Make sure you palpate the brachial pulse before you even start--that will show you where to put your scope!

    GL!
  10. by   txspadequeenRN
    This is great advise . I did the same thing with my littman , I had the earpieces facing backwards.





    Quote from EricEnfermero
    Before you run out and spend more money, you want to make sure it's not an issue of technique. One suggestion is to make sure your earpieces are facing slightly forward (toward the tip of your nose).

    Check out this thread which has lots of hints:

    https://allnurses.com/forums/f50/nee...ll-138933.html
  11. by   Kiringat
    My lab has these spify blood-pressure arms for practice. They're not the real thing of course, but if you have the opportunity to play around with one, it'll give you a nice, controlled idea of what to listen for.
  12. by   CD-RN
    I have the same trouble, and I found it was a matter of using the soft ear pieces at the correct angle!
  13. by   bethg5
    When we do clinical checkoff we have to use the schools ancient stethoscope. I was not able to hear anything until a few days ago. Everyone around me could hear fine with the schools stethoscopes, but not me. I would come home and hear it fine with my high dollar steth. Well I finally figured out my problem....It was placement of the stethoscope and making sure I had the steth pointing out in front of me a little. The only reason I was able to hear it with mine is that it is a high dollar steth so it was picking up the beat. Now when I practice in lab I make sure I use theirs and make sure my placement is correct. I was a little to centered before. I hear it just fine now in lab so I am not stressing as much about skills check off. Good luck to you and just keep practicing!
  14. by   Boston64
    Hi! I was taught that another way of verifying the systolic number was to palpate the radial artery while the pressure is coming down. You should feel the beat at the same time you hear the first beat. If you are limber enough, you can do both at the same time.

    Hope that helps

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