Nervous about BP...

  1. I have return demos this week for vital signs and transfers. I'm so nervous!!! I have a lot of trouble with BPs. I can't seem to get consistent readings, and have trouble remembering the numbers because I'm concentrating so hard on hearing the sounds. DH laughs at this because I have an MS in math and I can't remember numbers. :wink2: So tell me, is it just nerves, and will I get it right when I'm tested? I have to get it within +/- 2 and I'm so worried about it!!! I've been practicing all weekend on DH and the ILs, but still haven't gotten the confidence I need to feel ready for this.
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    About ladybugsea

    Joined: Oct '05; Posts: 217; Likes: 23


  3. by   EricJRN
    Yep - you guessed it. Like anything else, just takes some repetition. Are the earpieces of your stethoscope facing forward (toward the tip of your nose)?
  4. by   ladybugsea
    Yes, I have the eartips facing the right way. I think my issue is probably a concentration problem: 39 other people chatting away in class while I'm practicing there, and a two year old tugging on my shirt and trying to grab my steth while I practice on DH at home. I have a Littmann and am placing the bell on the palpated artery, so I CAN hear it. I also have trouble letting the air out at a good pace. Maybe it's just my cheapo cuff, too?
  5. by   Daytonite
    After 30 years in practice and getting interrupted all the time I still sometimes will forget B/Ps that I've taken if I don't write them down right away. Don't look at the palms of my hands on a busy day! There are things scribbled all over them, especially during some crisis situation. I also grab paper toweling to write V.S. on and stuff them in my pocket. Did I mention that I always keep a pen shoved in my hairdo? And, one or two extras in my pocket? (I've had docs steal my pens right out of my hair!) One nurse we worked with would say, "let me consult my assistant" if she was asked about a V.S. or lab result and turn her palm up to find the information. You do what you gotta do because when you get into the chaos of working on a busy unit there are bigger fish to fry.
  6. by   greenmiler
    The slower the better(letting the air out). As it drops when you hear the first pulse, lock your eyes on the number; repeat it in your head a few times. (128,128,128)let the needle pass you, you have a few seconds before the D pressure comes in; then lock your eyes on that number; then say 128 over the number your looking at. Sounds primitive but it works. You need some privacy to practice even if you have to practice with another student in your car in the parking lot; do what it takes; whatever works
  7. by   greenmiler
    One more thing..Don't give your BP as a question. Most instructors won't "gig" you for being off a hair unless you say "120/80??" as if you're guessing. Give the answer with confidence. They know you can be off a little. If you ask a question with your answer and act scared and your off a little, they are more apt to gig you because they sense your lack of confidence
  8. by   ladyinred667
    I am having trouble with BPs too but one thing I found to help was make sure you are lining up the artery with the arrow on the cuff. I can hear a lot better that way. I also make sure my earpieces are pretty tight in my ears.
  9. by   ladybugsea
    Thanks for the tips, especially the one about not giving the BP as a question!!! I was doing that last week in class with the instructor. Thank you so much for pointing that out!! I took my husband's BP yesterday and got the same on both sides. I think I'm finally getting it!! Tomorrow is my RD, so we'll see!
  10. by   ladybugsea
    [FONT=Helv]I passed.
  11. by   WDWpixieRN
    Quote from ladybugsea
    [FONT=Helv]I passed.