please help... blood pressure

Nurses General Nursing

Published an 19...graduated in working at a cardiologist office and love it....the doctor doesn't even ask me to do blood pressure...i know....strange...all he says to do are weights and EKGS...but the problem is this...ever since ive begun nursiing ive had trouble with blood pressures...hearing it...reading the number...i don't know exactly why?? i get a great stethoscope and can hear but yet still have trouble with it...but in my job there are opportunites to float to their other offices...i don't want to float and still have dificulty with blood pressures....i want to conquer this and do it like ive done it forever....please help someone!! TRULY NEED ADVICE...its starting to depress me...and is embarassing....thank you

prmenrs, RN

4,565 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control.

Practice! Review the lesson/chapter that covered that topic, and then ask co-workers to let you take theirs. Keep doing it till you feel confident. Make sure you use the right size cuff for the pt.

A lot of places have machines, so it might not be that big a deal, but, if it's something you want to learn, you should go ahead and do it!

Good Luck!

thank you so much...i really want to get it down...i appreciate your words of advice for me...

Editorial Team / Admin


17 Articles; 44,720 Posts

Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB.


Please seek out someone who you trust; someone who will work with you and get you up-to-speed.

You are to be commended recognizing that you need work on this. I admire that in a nurse!!

As prmenrs said, get out your basic fundamentals book and brush up on the theory, then get with someone to work with on the clinical aspect.

Good luck!!

thank you so so much!!!

pagandeva2000, LPN

7,984 Posts

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

Also, if you have family members or casual friends at home, practice on them! It took me time when I became a CNA to hear blood pressure, and the day that I finally heard it was like a victory to me. Then, I wanted to do everyone's! Just keep practicing and good luck. You'll get it.

thank you...its just sparatic as sometimes ill hear it, if i practice on myslef or my mom..but other people i have like...i didn't hear a thing!! but i want to get it!!! i don't want it to be sparatic...i want to get it everytime..ya know


13 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics.

I had the same issue when I started out as a CNA during my senior year of high school. I worked in a nursing home with a diverse geriatric population. Some patients would have thunderous beats while others were faint / almost non-existent.

Asking a patient their normal B/P range would help you get an idea of what their B/P should be at. Just remember to focus for the first beat (Systolic) and the last faint beat (Diastolic). It may help you if you palpated for the brachial artery too. Elimiate noises that may disrupt your concentration. And practice, practice! ;)

thank you so much...i really want to get it down...i appreciate your words of advice for me...

I am a nursing student and I had this same problem, what help for me, is that I practiced, practice, practice, practice. I worked on everyone in my family, my children, my spouse, everyone. Now BP is not a problem for me, I work at a hospital and I take them 1000x but never manually, so when I am at home I still practice doing manual.

Another thing that helped me is when you check to feel the pulse before placing the cuff, you dont always feel the pulse, but if you know how to locate where the pulse should be, go ahead and start often time you will find that once you began taking the bp you will then begin to hear it.

that and practice, practice, practice


250 Posts

You may want to review attached link it has video and several exercises with answers provided. You watch sphygmometer on line assuming you are listening to a real BP reading and you are asked to proved the answer. It is really helpful

thank you so much for everything guys...just hate how intimidated i that is what holds me back...that gives me anxiety---how silly right?...thats what brings all my nerves and holds me back from doing things like temp jobs...thinking that ill have to do pressures...and then cant get people prob wonder why is she doing my bp again....

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

I had the same problem. Practice will improve your skills. In my case, I was so anxious that I could not hear the patient's BP over MINE

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