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CPD modules

The importance of the arterial pulse in advanced cardiac examination

  • RCN accredited
  • Peer reviewed
  • Certificate
  • Learning time: 02 hrs
  • Last updated: 2019
  • Link to RCNi portfolio

This learning module reviews why the pulse is a significant indicator of health and can provide valuable information to help make accurate diagnoses. It focuses on advanced cardiac examination but all nurses should be competent in taking and interpreting the pulse, and developing their expertise in this vital sign. Arterial pulses can be examined at various sites, and this article examines techniques for palpating radial, brachial and carotid pulses.

Disclaimer

Please note that information provided by RCNi Learning is not sufficient to ensure competence in the skill. Assessment of competence should take place in line with local practice. Practice should always align with local protocols and procedures, latest guidelines and any regulatory code. All modules should currently be viewed together with available national and local Covid-19 guidelines. For advice, go to www.rcn.org.uk/covid-19/rcn-position

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


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