How To: Examine a patient for vital signs

Examine a patient for vital signs

Any medical student could benefit from this video lesson, whether you're training to be a doctor or a nurse. The very first step to finding out what's wrong with your patient is examining him/her for their vital signs. You must check the patient's pulse, respirations, blood pressure, and know how to use every kind of sphygmomanometer. To see the entire examination procedure, perfect for nursing students, watch the video to see how to examine a patient for vital signs, and refer to the steps below.

* Position patient properly
* Confirm no food, alcohol, tobacco, caffeine or exercise in the last 30 minutes

* Properly palpate the radial artery; count for 15 seconds and multiply by 4

Special Consideration — Abnormal Pulse:
* Count for a full minute if abnormality detected

* Do not inform patient
* Count for 30 seconds and multiply by 2

Special Consideration — Abnormal Respirations:
* Count for a full minute if abnormality detected

Blood Pressure by Palpation:
* Accurately select proper cuff size and state reasoning
* Correctly place cuff on arm
* Support arm at heart level
* Palpate radial artery
* Inflate cuff until pulse disappears
* Deflate cuff to estimate systolic pressure
* State estimated systolic pressure

Blood Pressure Measurement:
* Palpate brachial artery
* Correctly place cuff on arm
* Support arm at heart level
* Inflate cuff 30 mmHg over estimated systolic pressure
* Deflate cuff slowly (<5mm/sec)
* Auscultate systolic and diastolic pressures with diaphragm

Special Consideration — Auscultory Gap:
* Define term and significance

* Wall mount
* Aneroid
* Digital

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