Practical skills

How to check the arterial pulse

  • RCN accredited
  • Peer reviewed
  • Certificate
  • Learning time: 01 hr
  • Last updated: 2020
  • Link to RCNi portfolio

This practical learning module describes how to check the arterial pulse as a vital sign. It focuses on the radial pulse, but also considers the brachial and carotid pulses. Palpating the pulse to assess heart rate, regularity and volume as well as pulse character is also addressed.


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, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, Preston, England.


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