If you haven't noticed from my blog already, I'm definitely not above pointing out my own failures in hopes it helps others. For all of you EMT students and EMS instructors out there, I just realized something pretty significant: You cannot auscultate the blood pressure until you have fully inflated and started releasing the cuff.
I did not realize that when I was in my lab on Monday. I must have tuned out the TA when he said that.
Today is the first day since my Monday lab that I have seen Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman, who happens to be not just my boss but also a great EMS instructor. Tired, confused and a little disappointed, I had confided in him over lunch that I was having a tough time palpating and especially auscultating BPs. So once we got back to the office, he pulled up his sleeve and showed me the landmarks as he placed the BP cuff. Then, he placed the stethoscope on the place where he KNEW his own brachial pulse was goin' strong. And ... I couldn't hear anything. Disappointed, I said, "I just cannot hear it." To which he told me, "You can't hear it until you inflate and start deflating the cuff."
D'oh. I've palpated and auscultated the pulses of three other co-workers since learning that. All in one afternoon, too! And I'll tell you what, hearing the rush of blood that first time, that was awesome! A literal rush...
Now it's back to work prepping for EMS Today. But I just had to stop and share this with you!