Taking Pulse and Blood Pressure (Nursing)

by Jasmine Clark, PhD

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    00:01 So now, let's look at how we monitor our circulatory efficiency.

    00:05 Normally, we look at vital signs such as the pulse, the blood pressure, as well as the respiratory rate, and the body temperature.

    00:15 In order to take a pulse, we normally take the radial pulse, which is taken in the wrist.

    00:21 But there are also other clinically important pulse points, such as in the neck, or behind the leg.

    00:29 We also have points in our bodies known as pressure points.

    00:34 These are areas where the arteries are going to be close to the body surface.

    00:38 And in the case of a severe hemorrhage can be compressed in order to stop blood flow and blood loss.

    00:47 The different pulse points that we can use include: at the temple, the facial, and common carotid artery.

    00:56 We can also take a pulse at the brachial artery or the femoral artery.

    01:01 At the back of the leg, we can also find a pulse at the popliteal artery and at the bottom toward our feet, we can check our pulse at the posterior tibial and dorsalis pedis artery.

    01:15 So how do we measure the blood pressure? Systemic arterial blood pressure is measured indirectly by auscultatory methods using a sphygmomanometer or what you would think of as a blood pressure cuff.

    01:30 We wrap the cuff around the arm superior to the elbow.

    01:35 From there, we increase the pressure in the cuff until it exceeds the systolic pressure in the brachial artery.

    01:43 The pressure is then released slowly, and we listen for sounds known as Korotkoff sounds with a stethoscope.

    01:52 So since we normally have a systolic pressure of 120 mm Hg we would inrease the pressure in the cuff to go just above 120.

    02:05 And then we would slowly release that pressure while listening to the brachial artery with the stethoscope.

    02:13 The pressure when sounds first occur is going to be when blood first starts to spurt through the artery.

    02:21 The second pressure or the diastolic pressure is normally going to be less than 80 mm Hg.

    02:29 The pressure when the sound disappears is going to be our diastolic pressure because now the artery is no longer constricted, blood is flowing freely and we can no longer hear it with the stethoscope.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Taking Pulse and Blood Pressure (Nursing) by Jasmine Clark, PhD is from the course Cardiovascular System: Blood Vessels – Physiology (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. 90–120 mm Hg
    2. 121–140 mm Hg
    3. 60–80 mm Hg
    4. 80–100 mm Hg
    1. 60–80 mm Hg
    2. 80–100 mm Hg
    3. 120–140 mm Hg
    4. 100–120 mm Hg

    Author of lecture Taking Pulse and Blood Pressure (Nursing)

     Jasmine Clark, PhD

    Jasmine Clark, PhD

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