Wrist B/P digital cuff vs. old manuel arm type


  • Specializes in hospital/physicians office/long term car. Has 18 years experience.

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I'm a cna in a LTC facility, and they allow us to use the digital wrist cuff. In fact a lot of us have our own that we use. I work with the same residents every day so I'm familiar with their vitals. If I get a reading that may seem a bit off I'll take it again. The digital is a timesaver especially when there are 2 CNAs for the 22 residents on my hall! And our O2 sat monitors are always in use or you can't find them when you need them! That's next on my list to buy but those are a bit more pricier.

CoffeeRTC, BSN, RN

3,734 Posts

Has 25 years experience.

I hate, hate, hate them. It wouldn't be bad if they were the facility's that are regularly checked, but it seems like each CNA has a different one.

Just yesterday I've had 3 BPs that needed rechecked because the readings were way off. Way off. I politely asked if they could recheck with the reg cuff and got the weirdest looks....like I asked them to jump off the roof.

Time savers.....how? It takes just as much time to wrap the elect cuff around the arm or wrist as it does a manual. Now add in the time it takes for rechecks.....not in our facility.


349 Posts

I didn't realize CNAs obtain blood pressures in so many facilities. In all the facilities I've ever worked out CNAs do TPR and nurses do BP and spo2.

Many nurses in my current facility use the electronic wrist cuffs. I tried one for a week or so and hated it. I found that it just wasn't accurate and it ended up costing me more time than taking it manually.

I don't know if I'm too old-school or what, but I just don't trust the digital cuffs that much. I tend to believe it when I hear it myself.

My old job had a whole dynamap on wheels thing with an electronic cuff. These were calibrated and maintained properly and seemed to be way more accurate than the wrist cuffs, as long as the correct size cuff was used. Still, even with those, if I got a wonky number I'd recheck manually.

CoffeeRTC, BSN, RN

3,734 Posts

Has 25 years experience.

Reminds me of when I was in the hospital after the birth of my first baby...preeclampsia with raging HTN..230/160 or so was normal...One nurse got a reading of 120-78...and told me how great it was....Um, er...first...wrong cuff size (I was huge...huge and she just used a regular cuff) second...I had all the s/s of htn and most of my readings were sky hi...I politely asked her to retake it using the wall cuff....It was sky hi.

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