Problem with taking Blood pressure. grr.

Nursing Students CNA/MA


I am in NAC classes right is really important to me that i get it all down, and pass. super nervous about the state test also. afraid i will miss one little step in something. i have been able to do pretty much all of the labs pretty ok , except for the dang blood pressure. for some reason i have problems finding the brachial pulse, and listening for it after i pump up the cuff. pretty easy stuff, but for some reason i am having a hard time. any helpful tips? :o

Use a automatic BP monitor, problem solved =p. Practice, practice practice.

Specializes in Took care of my grandma with Hospice.

i can find it easier with my fingers when i trail up from the pinky now.

&& haha i wish we could just use the automatic ones. but for state test purposes we cant. but i am told in most places now, they use the electronic ones. which will be good for me! lol

Specializes in LTC.

... until you realize how slow the electronic ones are and how much faster it is if you do it yourself!

Practice, practice, practice.

You will be fine and will eventually be able to take a blood pressure in your sleep.

You also don't want the patient to be holding his arm off of some surface- if they are tensing their muscles, the BP can be falsely high. Don't go over 40mm/hg their usual BP...if you hear something immediately, then yes- you need to pump it up more.... IS there any way you can get a buddy to put an electronic BP cuff on you, and you listen at the same time, to see if you're hearing the same thing?

You'll get this :)

Also- if you get a really bad BP- either high or low- check it with a manual cuff. Machines do mess up :)

Someone told me before to tilt your chin down..I guess it is supossed to help you hear better.

Specializes in Geriatrics/home health care.

You are not the only one! When I was in my nursing assistant program, I literally had a nervous breakdown when I kept trying to do BP. What helped me was moving around the stethescope until I found a prime spot. Apply medium-light pressure, but don't press too hard or you will cut off the circulation and not be able to find it at all. I know they say to stick more to the middle forearm but it varies on a lot of people and it will usually not stay in one place. For me, most of the time I was able to find it right above the elbow. Try to focus on hearing the flow of blood first before trying to single in on beats, it will be much easier if you could locate the source and work from there. You'll get it eventually, just don't get frustrated and focus! Good luck!:nurse:

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