Blood Pressure

Reflective Account on Taking Blood Pressure

This reflective account aims to identify what learning achievements have arisen from taking part in the formative simulation. I am going to use Driscoll’s (2000) model of reflection, which will enable me to reflect upon my experience. This will help me to gain knowledge and understanding, whilst also enhancing my personal and professional learning to develop my nursing skills (Howatson-Jones and Standing, 2010). To adhere to the Nursing and Midwifery Code of Professional Conduct (2008), pseudonyms shall be used to preserve confidentiality.
The clinical skill reflected on within this essay is taking an adult blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force that the blood produces against the walls of the blood vessels and is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) by using digital sphygmomanometer or a sphygmomanometer and stethoscope (Hegner, Acello and Caldwin, 2009). Blood pressure consists of finding the systolic and diastolic reading. The systolic reading is the pressure that blood exerts on arteries and vessels while the heart is beating. The diastolic reading is the measurement of pressure that is exerted on the walls of the different arteries around the body in between heart beats whilst the heart is relaxed. It is important that blood pressure is kept within normal limits, as if it becomes too high blood vessels can become damaged and if it is too low, blood supply through tissue beds may be inadequate, causing restricted blood flow to the vital organs, causing dangerous implications (Waugh and Grant, 2006). This is why all student nurses need to be competent in measuring and recording blood pressure.
From my experience as a care assistant, I have been used to using a digital sphygmomanometer when taking blood pressure, and have also noticed this is the same in many clinical settings. However, I believe that learning how to take blood pressure with a manual sphygmomanometer and stethoscope helps nursing...