How to Take Blood Pressure

Carrington College Registered Nursing[1] students demonstrate the proper technique for taking blood pressure.

You’ll need:

  • Blood pressure cuff
  • Stethoscope

Ask your patient to hold their arm out so you can begin.

  1. Place the blood pressure cuff around the brachial artery. The brachial artery is found on the elbow’s front side.
  2. Find the radial pulse. The radial pulse is the pulse in your wrist.
  3. Inflate the cuff until you no longer feel the radial pulse.
  4. Take the number seen on the cuff and add 30. That’s the number you’ll inflate the cuff to when taking the blood pressure.
  5. Inflate the cuff to the number indicated in the previous step.
  6. Listen for the systolic and diastolic pressure.
    1. Systolic is the whooshing sound heard through the stethoscope when the cuff deflates.
    2. Diastolic is when that noise goes away.

And that’s how you take a patient’s blood pressure!

[1] For comprehensive consumer information, visit

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