What are two diagnostic tools that every nurse or nursing student knows how to use?
The answer is a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff.
Both tools provide diagnostic capabilities into your patients condition. You can monitor their vitals and avoid catastrophe.
Most nursing students learn to check vitals on a really cheap sphygmomanometer and an semi accurate BP monitor.
In the hospital or clinic setting, nurses may not have to purchase one. There are often blood pressure monitors for nurses to use in patient rooms. This is done to ensure reliable, consistent results from equipment from the same manufacturer and model.
Digital or manual which makes the best BP monitor?
A digital monitor is what most people buy for home use. The cuff goes around the upper arm and can be inflated by pushing a button.
An electronic gauge, which is attached to the cuff, will report and record your patients heart rate and blood pressure.
These digital units are not limited to the upper arm. Some can be used on the wrist and/or finger.
Many hospitals and clinics use digital rather than a manual BP monitor. But theres still no way around it: Youve got to learn to use a manual monitor.
Manual blood pressure monitors
A manual unit contains a gauge, tube, and cuff; it requires use of a stethoscope, too.
Like the digital units, the cuff is placed around the upper arm. Unlike digital, you have to manually pump the bulb on the cuff.
After you pump it up high enough, you listen through your stethoscope to the sound of blood flowing through your patients main artery in the upper arm while the pressure slow fades out of the cuff.
ADC Diagnostix Pocket Aneroid Sphygmomanometer
One of my friends bought this unit for nursing school, so I got to try it out when she brought it home.
The ADC 700 has an easy-to-read dial. I looked at it from a couple different angles and could still see.
The unit is pretty stout. Its not like strapping a boat anchor to the arm but it is solid.
The adult size cuff fits arm sizes between 9 to 15.75 inches, and theres a lifetime calibration warranty and 2 year warranty on the inflation system.
Sphygmomanometer buying tips
If you are a nursing student, price will come into play. You probably dont want to spend a lot of money or cant. (Spend your money on a good stethoscope.)
You should be able to get a BP unit for under $30. A couple notable points when buying one include make sure you can easily read the gauge and find a monitor that has a good warranty because rubber parts wear out.