How to check the arterial pulse

This learning module has been accredited by the Royal College of Nursing and was last updated in 2016.

All modules are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Duration: 01:00:00 Type: How to modules Level: Students, Qualified Nurses

Author

Christopher Nicholson, Lead clinician, Cardiac and Respiratory Service, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, Preston, England.


Short description

Read this module and update your knowledge and skills on checking an arterial pulse.


Detailed description

This module aims to help healthcare professionals to check the arterial pulse. It focuses on the radial pulse, and also briefly considers the brachial and carotid pulses. The arterial pulse provides information about the patient’s condition and is therefore a vital sign. Checking the pulse is an essential clinical skill for healthcare professionals.

  • Palpating the pulse tells us the patient’s heart rate.
  • It also provides information on the regularity, volume and character of the pulse.

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