How to Take a Pulse
The pulse refers to the pressure of the blood pushing against the wall of an artery, (a blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart), as the heart beats and rest. When taking a pulse you are counting beats per minute, (the rate) and recording three different facts about the pulse the rate, the rhythm, and volume of pulse. These facts are very important to complete information and help in assessing your patient.
Also, when taking a pulse find arteries that lay close to the skin these can be felt easier and they can be pressed against a bone by the fingers. There are different arterial sites on the body that are used for pulse: * Temporal- on either side of the forehead
* Carotid-at the neck on either side of the trachea
* Brachial-inner aspect of the forearm at the antecubital space,(crease of the elbow) * Radial-at the inner aspect of the upper thigh where the thigh joins with the truck of the body * Popliteal-behind the knee
* Dorsalis pedis-at the top of the foot arch
Pulse is mostly taken over the radial artery.
Pulse rates vary between people; you also need to be aware if the individual is taking any sort of medication that may affect his or her pulse rate. In general adults range between 60-100 beats per minute (BPM). A childs general range over seven is 70-100BPM’s. A child from 1-7 general range is from 80-100BPM’s. Infants general range is100-160BPM’s. When observing the pulse be aware of any irregulities such as bradycardia, tachycardia, and arrhythmia.
There are many things that increase and decrease pulse rates. Some factors that increase pulse rate are exercise, stimulant drugs, excitement, fever, shock and nervous tension. Factors that decrease pulse rate are sleep, depressant drugs, heart disease, coma, and physical training.
The following thing is the procedure for taking a pulse. First you would put out the equipment and wash your hands. Second you would call in the patient, introduce...
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