Taking a Patient’s Temperature and Pulse RateEvery nurse needs to know the basics of taking a patient’s vitals — body temperature, pulse rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, and blood pressure. The most important thing in any procedure is to correctly identify the patient. No one wants to be taking vital signs on Mrs. Kramer and realize that you should have been seeing to a Mrs. Framer. Once you are sure of your subject, make sure they know what you are about to do. It’s very helpful to keep the patient in the know and explain to them the actions you will take. As always, be sure to have freshly washed hands as you go about gathering your equipment. You will need an electronic thermometer, a watch, a pulse oximeter, blood pressure apparatus or sphygmomanometer and stethoscope, and alcohol swabs. Proper use of all of these pieces of equipment is important to get an accurate picture of your patient’s overall situation.
This video will teach you proper technique and also give you some tips on how to interpret information. For example, many things affect a persons pulse rate, such as age, gender, amount of normal exercise, a fever, hypovolemia, and their position. This video is a great teaching tool or even just a reminder for those of you who have been out of commission for a while.