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Is there a good sphygmomanometer for manual blood pressure?

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A few of my friends who are still in nursing school are having trouble with taking blood pressure manually. Does anyone have a suggestion as to a sphygmomanometer that is easy to use? All that their school asks is that it be manual; it doesn't matter if its got a modern, digital gauge, mercury, ect.

Please give experiences with suggestions. Was there a brand you had to use in a hospital that was smooth in releasing the air, or was there something that you did to make the whole process a lot smoother?

Thank you.

whats the issue?can they hear the pulse well or is that the issue?

OldDude

Specializes in Pediatrics Retired.

I don't think you could really appreciate the difference in a cheap one versus an expensive one. The main think is that the cuff is the right size for the arm; not too small - not too big, not too long - not too short. There are all kinds of guidelines out there but it's been my experience that the most accurate readings come from a cuff that is about 1 1/2 times the arm circumference and wide enough enough to cover 2/3 of the upper arm; manual or automatic. A good stethoscope, however, would be helpful.

Thank you OldDude,

Would a Littmann Classic be a good stethoscope?

Your major control over hearing with a stethoscope for any task is making sure that you do not wear it like Nurse Jackie's doctor buddy, which is to say, with its tips pointing backwards.

Rotate your stethoscope "arms" until the earbud tips are pointing forward to the tip of your nose, because that's the way your ear canals run. Any other orientation will have their little openings up against the wall of the canal, and you will hear a lot of nothing. Get in the habit of shrugging them into place c your shoulders while you stroke the diaphragm softly with a fingertip to be sure you can hear clearly. Every time.

OldDude

Specializes in Pediatrics Retired.

Thank you OldDude,

Would a Littmann Classic be a good stethoscope?

You bet. It has soft ear pieces. GrnTea makes a good observation/good advice. I usually do a little head nod after I place the earpieces in my ears and that kind of "seals" the earpieces in my ear canal. With the Classic, you get such a good seal, that you can actually feel the increase in pressure in your ear canals when you press the diaphragm in place.