Vital Signs

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Preparation

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

Pulse

  • 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

Respirations

  • 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

Proficiency

  • Wall mount
  • Aneroid
  • Digital

ONLINE PHYSICAL EXAM TEACHING ASSISTANT

The UF College of Medicine Harrell Center