During CNA training, you will be taught how to measure and record a patient’s blood pressure. This skill is essential for working as a CNA, because it can help you look for changes in a patient’s blood pressure, which can indicate serious medical conditions. This skill must also be learned in order to pass your CNA training exam.
While many hospitals, nursing homes, and medical centers use electronic blood pressure cuffs, learning how to use a manual cuff in CNA training is essential. If you obtain a reading that is too high or too low on an electronic cuff, you will have to obtain the patient’s blood pressure on a manual cuff in order to be sure it is correct, so your medical team can provide the patient with the right kind of assistance. It can be lifesaving.
Lucky, measuring and recording a patient’s blood pressure during CNA training isn’t too difficult. In the following article, we will take you step by step through the process, just in case you have forgotten how to perform this skill since you graduated from CNA training.
Taking a Blood Pressure After CNA Training
- Check your equipment before you begin. Make sure it is clean and works correctly. If you share blood pressure cuffs with others in your facility, use an alcohol swap to clean the stethoscope before you place it in your ears or on a patient’s skin. This will prevent the spread of disease.
- Wash your hands thoroughly, just as you learned during CNA training, and greet your patient. Explain that you will be taking their blood pressure, and answer any questions they may have.
- Before you begin, verify the identity of your patient and then wrap the cuff around his arm. It should be placed right above the elbow.
- Put on the stethoscope as you learned in CNA training, and place its bell over the brachial artery, right at the bend of your patient’s elbow.
- Start pumping the blood pressure cuff up, watching the dial as you squeeze the bulb. The needle needs to reach between 150 and 180 mmHg before you stop pumping.
- Lightly loosen the dial on the cuff so you can slowly release all of the pressure in the blood pressure cuff. Listen through the stethoscope as you do this. When you begin to hear a light thumping, note the dial’s level. This is the systolic pressure and is the top number of a patient’s blood pressure.
- As you learned in CNA training, continue to listen carefully to the pulse as it thumbs. When it disappears, note the level again. This is the bottom number of a blood pressure, and is known as the diastolic pressure.
- Let the rest of the air out of the blood pressure cuff and take it off of your patient’s arm. Record your findings in the patient’s chart. If the blood pressure is too high or too low, report the results immediately to the charge nurse.
- Wash your hands thoroughly, use an alcohol wipe to clean your instruments, and make sure your patient is comfortable before leaving the room.
Blood Pressures are Essential After CNA Training
Your patient’s blood pressure is essential after CNA training. It can alert you to serious medical conditions and should be checked regularly and as per doctor’s orders. Make sure you know how to keep your patients safe by using a manual blood pressure cuff after CNA training.