A certified nursing assistant provides different types of personal care to residents and patients such as measure and record radial pulse. This particular task is important in order to keep track of the patient’s health progress. Nursing assistants are often delegated with these minor tasks as they have already earned these skills during the CNA training program. They have undergone both a theoretical class as well as sufficient clinical experience during the program to administer such services. If you are a CNA who will be doing these skills, there are certain points that you should remember either when you are doing it for the certification exam or in your work.
It is important to remember that when you are performing this particular skill, you should incorporate both the direct and the indirect skills that have been taught during the training. There are some who tend to forget about the indirect skills and focus more on the actual taking of the radial pulse. You should take care to incorporate indirect skills during the process if you want to pass the exam or if you want to retain your job. Respecting the privacy, independence, and the safety of your patient are all as important as the direct skill themselves.
Radial pulse is found on the wrist of the patient and should be taken for one whole minute. You will need to have the Measurement Form ready before you take the pulse. As you enter the room of the resident, greet them by name and introduce yourself.
Explain to the resident what procedure you will be doing before and during the taking of the pulse. When taking the pulse, you should do all that you can to position and support the arm of the patient that it does not dangle in any way while you are taking their pulse. Do use your thumb when taking the pulse as it may confuse you as to which pulse you are taking, either yours or the patient’s.
By placing your fingers on the patient’s wrist, measure their radial pulse for a full minute. Write down your findings on the Measurement Form on a scale of + or – 4 beats a minute on a nurse’s measurement. Make sure that you have used all standard precautions and methods of infection control while administering this type of care to the patient. Ask the resident also if they are feeling comfortable and any other needs that they may have with regards to the procedure while you are taking their pulse.
While doing this procedure, make sure that you have promoted the resident’s rights such as their privacy and independence by making sure that you take their needs and requests into consideration. Protect the resident also by ensuring that they are in a safe position during the administration of the care. Taking a radial pulse is one of the various skills that are needed from a certified nursing assistant. You must therefore make sure that you can perform this job effectively.