LearningTools: Blood Pressure Basics - Audio-Visual Coordination Skills

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- [Josh] Hi, I'm Josh Farquharson and welcome

to Blood Pressure: Audio-Visual Coordination Skills.

There are several steps involved

in taking a blood pressure measurement,

and each step must be completed with accuracy.

This is especially true when viewing the blood pressure dial

and listening with the stethoscope.

You must be able to effectively coordinate

what you're hearing with what you're seeing.

Just imagine if you recorded a patient's blood pressure

as normal when in actuality,

their pressure was extremely high,

and they were at risk for having a stroke.

Your inaccuracy can have dire consequences

on the patient's overall health.

This lesson will help you achieve accuracy

when taking blood pressure measurements.

By the end of this lesson,

you will identify and interpret the graduation markings

on an aneroid sphygmomanometer dial

and determine the systolic and diastolic blood pressure

by reading the dial and listening to the Korotkoff sounds.

If you ever had your blood pressure taken,

you likely noticed that the results were stated

as one number over the other number,

such as 120 over 80.

The number on top, in this case, 120,

represents systolic pressure,

and the bottom number, in this case, 80,

represents the diastolic pressure.

Let's take a close look at the dial

used for determining such a measurement.

This is the aneroid sphygmomanometer dial,

also known as the blood pressure dial.

The dial has the letters mmHg

because blood pressure is measured

in millimeters of mercury.

Also, on the dial,

you'll notice that there are lines in various sizes.

The largest lines represent values of 20.

This is 20.

This is 40, 60, and so on.

The medium lines represent values of 10.

This is 30, 50, 70, and so on.

And the smallest lines represent values of two.

So this line represents 22, 24, 26, 28, and so on.

Now let's use the needle

to determine the number displayed on the dial.

Concentrate on the tip of the needle

and the line that it's pointing to.

How much does this line represent?

If you stated 68, you are correct.

So how much does this line represent?

If you stated 112, you are correct.

And how much does this line represent?

If you stated 294, you are absolutely correct.

Great job.

Now that you're comfortable

with reading the blood pressure dial,

let's apply audio-visual coordination skills.

And for this, please increase your volume level

and have a pen and paper on hand.

There are two main areas that you need to focus

on when determining a blood pressure reading.

One, the position of the needle on the dial,

and two, the Korotkoff sounds.

We'll refer to the Korotkoff sounds

as thumping sounds for the duration of this video.

When you arrive at the point of the procedure

when you slowly deflate the cuff to hear the sounds,

you will notice the needle move

in a counterclockwise direction.

It is at this point that you need to listen very closely

for the thumping sounds.

Upon hearing the first thump,

note the needle's position on the dial

and record the number.

That's the systolic pressure.

As the cuff deflates and the needle continues to move,

you will continue to hear the thumping sounds.

Listen closely for the last thump.

Upon hearing the last thump,

note the needle's position on the dial.

That's the diastolic pressure.

Let's practice applying these two steps.

Please note that your answer may be slightly different

from what's displayed, but that's okay.

As long as your answer

is within four millimeters of mercury,

your answers are still considered accurate.

For example, if the displayed answer is 120 over 80,

but your answer falls somewhere in the range

of 118 over 78 through 122 over 82,

your answer is still considered accurate.

Of course, matching the displayed answer

is the goal to achieve the most accurate answer.

We'll use 114 over 76 as an example.

All right, so now that you know the basics

let's try a few simulations.

Listen closely and write down your answers.

I will reveal the correct answer once the simulation ends.

Here's the first one.

Try another.

Okay, and let's try one more.

So did you answer all of them correctly?

Great job.

Give yourself a huge pat on the back for a job well done.

There's so much more to learn about blood pressure,

especially when it comes to the terminology,

ranges, and the many steps involved in the process.

Continue to discover, review,

and practice as much as you can to master

the art of measuring blood pressure correctly.

And there you have it.

You have learned to identify and interpret

the graduation markings

on an aneroid sphygmomanometer dial

and determine the systolic and diastolic blood pressure

by reading the dial

and listening to the Korotkoff sounds.

To stay up to date on other Allied Health learning tools,

you can follow me on Twitter @ahtools1

or subscribe to my Allied Health Tools YouTube channel.

Thank you for watching this video.