Has anyone else had this problem or do you have a possible solution.... I first learned how to take blood pressure about 16 years ago in CNA school. Although I've never been employed as a CNA I've had occasion to practice this off and on during the past 16 years and so this week during the second week of my BSN when we were to check off on BP's I expected no problems. However, I keep getting different numbers than my instructor. My bottom number is always about 10 higher that it should be. My instructor told me to practice... that I would get the hang of it... but I don't think this is something that practice can cure... I'm just not hearing those last few beats... how do you practice HEARING???
I've thought of getting my ears checked... I have had repeated ear infections with a couple of ruptured ear drums... could this be the problem? But even if this is the problem I can't get it fixed in time to be able to go into the clinical setting. Any suggestions... this is so frustrating! I know I shouldn't be thinking in drastic measures but this has got me really upset... if I can't do a simple BP... then what... I am thinking about scrapping it all... I am tired of fighting an up hill battle.
Anyway, thanks for listening and if anyone has any suggestions I'd be glad to hear them.
Sep 2, '01
Have you ever had problems with inter-rater reliability before? That is have you ever noticed that you consistently hear higher diastolic blood pressures than the nurses you work with? Is there another clinical instructor you can work with to see if this is a consistent issue? If it is, then I probably would consider a hearing exam, but I would want to see if this was a consistent issue. I am not trying to say that your clinical instructor is wrong. But I would expect a 16 year CNA to know how to do a BP and maybe she's grandstanding, maybe you have a hearing problem. I would think a variability of 4 to 6 points would be within error. Ten is getting up there, but isn't unusual. Good luck. PRoblem solve. Don't let this become a crisis of confidence for you.
Sep 3, '01
I quick way may be to check BP's with a trusted collegue and also an automatic machine. But you know how those auto machines can be.
If you are in the ICU find a patient with an arterial line and practice on their other arm.
I could be wrong but I think acute ear infections cause higher pitch hearing loss and loud noise is to lower pitches. However if you have never had a hearing test it wouldn't hurt to get one. My guess that you would probably need to have a significant amount to be unable to hear the BP thumps.