Blood Pressure Cuffs

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Diana_Prince245

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For the record, nurses are taught this school. Course I've had my fellow students, right after being told that, take mine with regular sized cuff. I'm kinda in between sizes, but still.
 

Diana_Prince245

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I'm kinda borderline as far as which one to use. The bigger one gives me lower readings, so I like it better (plus my NP said that's the one I should use).
 

Miss Vickie

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Diana, how's school going? I loved in your other post how you mentioned going to nurse practitioners. :)

Yes, we're taught to use the right size cuffs (and I hope MA's and CNA's are also taught) but as you say, people can't seem to gauge what that is and as if on autopilot use the regular cuff. When I was bigger, pre-WLS, it was pretty obvious that I needed the large cuff. However, now, it's not so obvious since I'm much smaller. However, my arms are still big (just skin now instead of fat but still -- large for my size) and I have to argue with them while they try to fit a regular cuff over my arm skin. (OWW!!!)

Now I won't even raise my arm and "assume the position" unless I'm sure it's a large cuff and I recommend you guys do the same. In a pinch, if they don't have a large cuff, I'm told you can use a regular cuff on the forearm but a) that hurts like a sumbitch, and b) I'm not convinced you get a reliable reading.

So much easier to have the right size cuff.
 

Diana_Prince245

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School starts Monday. I'm already dreading the 6:45 a.m. clinical starts (puke!). And I love NPs, dating back to when I was in college the first time and pretty much depended on Planned Parenthood for all my health care. The NPs who worked there were so amazing.

During my CNA class, I wasn't taught about the importance of cuff size. When I got to my nursing skills lab and they told us bigger people needed bigger cuffs, my slightly high blood pressure (about 130/80) was kind of explained. The NP at the student clinic where I go now, who will be one of my professors my senior year, asked what size cuff the MA used, and then retook my BP herself with the correct sized cuff. It was within normal.
 

Skye23

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I always ask if its a big cuff, if they say no I just tell them I'm a "fat chick" and I need one. They're usually pretty taken aback that I'd say that and get one immediately. If one is not available I refuse to allow them to take my blood preassure and tell them they can mark my chart that I refused treatment. When the doctor comes in I tell him I refused the BP test due to the fact no large cuff was available and if he can find one I'd be happy to comply. I haven't had any serious issues doing this, most of the nurses back down if you're assertive if only because they don't expect you to be. The doctors never argue.
 

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