Vital signs checkoff question

  1. Just curious what margin of error your program allowed for the vital signs checkoff. We were told 2 bpm pulse & respirations and 4 mm Hg for BP. What they really meant was plus or minus 1 for pulse/resp. and plus or minus 2 BP, they just wrote it down in a misleading way, I think.

    Also, how much class time do you get to practice skills? We get very little and have to come to the lab in our free time. The general consensus is that our program is, um, poorly run would be a tactful way to phrase it.
    Last edit by ashse on Feb 5, '03
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    About ashse

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 42


  3. by   Robin61970
    We were told the same thing on our check offs and also very limited time to practice. We have 3 labs in our school and they are used by all the's hard to get in to practice sometimes......
  4. by   Ortho_RN
    ashe... You have to realize that most nursing programs are a "self-taught" kinda thing.. It is up to you to practice, I am sure they went over it with you as a class, and it is up to you to do the majority of the studying... I don't think that makes your program poorly run.. All programs have there flaws, trust me.. Mine has plenty of them... You just have to learn how to play their games and you will be fine
  5. by   Jennerizer
    Our margin of error was 4 on the bp and 2 on the radial pulse & also 2 on the apical pulse. It wasn't a plus one or minus was a full 2 in either direction. We get a lot of lab time...usually at least 7 hours a week during class...give or take an hour.

    If we feel we need extra help or if we fail a skill, there is someone available on the days we don't have class. Plus every other Saturday, there is a skills lab where there is plenty of help from other students who are a semester or two ahead of us. So far I'm very happy with the program I'm in & the instructors.

    As far as the vital signs go.....practice on people you know so that you become comfortable with what you are doing. It just takes practice.
  6. by   christinemj
    We are allowed 2 "points"in either directions on all measurements.

    We have NO class time scheduled for labs, practice, etc. At most, we get a 10 minute demonstration time in class. We are expected to do all of our practice outside of scheduled class time. We have one lab that is staffed by 2 full-time "lab instructors" who are also RNs themselves. They have regularly scheduled "teaching times" that students can come in to see demonstrations. You can also get one on one assistance if the lab isn't too busy and you request it. Most of the skills TESTING is also done outside of regular class hours.
  7. by   essarge
    Practice time? The only "practice" we got was the day they taught us. I was lucky because I already knew how to do vitals. I would suggest that, if you don't work in a health care facility, to find someplace to volunteer to do free blood pressures. There are a lot of pharmacies that offer this and senior citizen centers. The more practice you get the more proficient you will be. Don't worry, after a while, it will become almost automatic.
  8. by   luluann
    we were allowed 2 mm/hg either way for bp. Pulse had to be within 1. We don't get any lab time to practice in class. We have 2 hours, the instructor will take 1/2 the class and demonstrate skills while the rest of us watch videos/answer our questions in the lab book. Then we switch. As far as practice goes, you are on your own. And we must checkoff within a week of being taught or you lose points for every day past the week.

    We have an excellent program, but they are strict . Last semester our school was #1 in the state for NCLEX pass rate. The last 4 semesters combined we were #2 and that includes all BSN & ADN schools.
  9. by   PowerPuffGirl
    We get +/- 4 on the BP, +/- 2 on pulse & respirations.

    As far as practice time... we learned the skills in lab last night, we're getting tested on them tonight.
  10. by   Jennerizer
    Good luck PowderPuffGirl!!!
  11. by   PowerPuffGirl
    thanks! I'm a little nervous, I haven't had much time to practice.

    I talked to my instructor last night, and she's having me come in early with this other girl, who is also having a bit of difficulty, and she's going to work one-on-one with us, with a double-teaching stethoscope. Hopefully, that will help!

    She also recommended we buy an inexpensive cuff, and practice, practice, practice! Something tells me that my friends, family, and coworkers are going to get very tired of me taking their BP, very quickly!