HOW DO I TAKE A PATIENT'S BLOOD PRESSURE?
Use the following procedures when taking a patient's blood pressure.
a. Gather Materials. You will need the following items:
Cotton-tipped applicators (swabs)--at least 8.
Disinfecting solution (70% alcohol solution).
Watch or clock with second hand.
Pen or pencil.
Form or note pad on which to write.
b. Verify the Patient's Identity. Make sure that you are preparing to take the
blood pressure of the proper person.
c. Set up Equipment. If you have a portable mercury sphygmomanometer, set
up the gauge so that it will be at about eye level. If you are using an aneroid gauge,
position yourself or the patient so that the gauge will be about eye level when you read
it. You can read a gauge easier and more accurately when it is at eye level.
d. Clean Earpieces. Wet one swap with the alcohol disinfecting solution.
Clean the inside of one plastic earpiece of the stethoscope with the swab and discard
the swab. Wet another swab, clean the outside of the plastic earpiece, and discard that
swab also. Repeat the procedure for the other plastic earpiece.
e. Position the Patient. Have the patient to position himself in the desired
(1) The blood pressure is normally taken using the patient's upper arm. The
patient can stand, sit, or lie down. Normally, the patient will sit with his arm resting on a
table or lie down with his arm resting on the bed, cot, or ground.
(2) Sometimes, the physician orders that the patient's blood pressure be
taken on his thigh instead of on his arm. (The patient's arms may be injured or
amputated, for example.) If the blood pressure is to be taken using the thigh, have the
patient to lie on his abdomen. If the patient cannot lie on his abdomen, have him to lie
on his back with his knees flexed.