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CNA Skills Measuring Blood Pressure

CNAs will typically be required to measure the blood pressure of their patients on a daily or frequent basis. The measuring blood pressure CNA skill is something that you likely will be tested on as part of your CNA skills exam as you work towards your CNA certification. 

To learn all the necessary steps for this skill, please watch this CNA Skills Measuring Blood Pressure video for a complete demonstration of the skill of taking patient blood pressure.  

CNA Skills – Measuring Blood Pressure

The process for measuring the blood pressure of a patient during the CNA skills exam is as follows:

  1. Perform the standard CNA beginning tasks. Knock before entering the patient’s room, greet the patient by name, introduce yourself, explain the task you are about to perform, close the privacy curtain, and wash your hands. . 
  2. Grab the blood pressure cuff and stethoscope from the storage area, making sure the blood pressure cuff has been deflated. 
  3. Open and use an alcohol pad to clean the air piece of the stethoscope. While you are doing this, explain to the patient what your procedure of checking their blood pressure will be. Be sure to dispose of the used alcohol pad. 
  4. Ask the patient which arm they would like to use for the blood pressure check
  5. Ask patient to extend their arm out, with their arm palm out and supported by the bed
  6. Use the narrow part of the blood pressure cuff over the arm, covering one third to one half around the arm. 
  7. Wrap the deflated cuff around the arm, one inch above the elbow. Be sure to secure the cuff with velcro, with the gauge facing you. 
  8. Identify the arrow that will point to the brachial artery on the lower edge of the cuff, use your fingers to find the brachial artery. Place the larger diaphragm on the stethoscope on the artery. 
  9. Place the earpieces in your ear and hold the bulb assembly in your dominant hand, turn the valve to the right to close it and inflate the bulb to 180. 
  10. Open the valve slightly to the left to let the air out, and listen for the first and last Korokoff sounds as the needle descends downward. Be sure to record what you hear, not what you see.
  11. Once the needle hits zero, remove your ear pieces and sanitize them as well as the large diaphragm and dispose of the swabs
  12. Fold up equipment and return it to the proper storage area
  13. Perform your standard completion tasks – wash your hands, ensure the patient has a clean environment, ask if they are comfortable, give them their call light and close their privacy curtain.

* Please be sure to consult the testing materials provided by the skills test provider in your state to ensure that these steps for CNA Skill Measuring Blood Pressure are in compliance. The procedure in different states and from different test providers can vary slightly and greatly affect your score.