CNA Skill: Checking patient’s blood pressure

There are times when you will be checking a patient’s blood pressure.  You will want to wash your hands first.  You should then say hello to your patient and let him know why you are there.  Check the patient’s identity band to make sure you are working with the correct patient.

Place the blood pressure cuff on the patient’s upper arm.  The bell of your stethoscope should be placed on the brachial artery.  You will need to inflate the bulb cuff.  Unless a patient has very high blood pressure, you should inflate the cuff to between 150 and 180 mmHg.  You can then slowly start to release the pressure out of the cuff.  You will be listening carefully with your stethoscope.  When you first hear a pulse, make note of the reading on the blood pressure meter.  This is your patient’s systolic blood pressure.

Keep listening to your patient’s pulse.  Eventually you will not hear a pulse any longer.  When the pulse fades away, make note of the reading again.  You now have the patient’s diastolic blood pressure.  Write down the readings in your patient’s chart.  As always, you will then wash your hands carefully.  If you note any problems while taking a patient’s blood pressure, notify their nurse or doctor right way.

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