Understanding Pulse

Pulse, also referred to as the radial pulse, is the felt beat of the artery when pressing on it. It is usually felt by the palpation of the artery located in your wrist, thumb or neck. You can check a pulse by pressing your fingers lightly on a person’s wrist for at least 60 seconds.

Preparation for Checking a Pulse

Before checking a pulse it’s important to have the right tools.

  • Stethoscope
  • Digital Pulse Reader
  • Watch or Clock with Second Hand
  • Journal for Recording Results

Procedure for Checking a Pulse

Follow these steps to properly check a pulse:

  • Prepare the area with the needed equipment.
  • Secure the patient’s arm and place the first three fingers along the wrist bone on the side of the thumb.
  • Press lightly on the patient’s artery until you feel the pulse.
  • Check the watch or clock to time for one minute.
  • Count the number of beats in that one minute.
  • Write down the results in a journal.

Types of Pulse

There are several types of pulse such as normal, irregular, and abnormal.

  • Normal Pulse - This is when the pulse is regular and can be felt easily.
  • Irregular Pulse- This is when the pulse is irregular usually due to an issue with the valves of the heart.
  • Abnormal Pulse - This is when the pulse rate is too fast or too slow.

Risks of Pulses

The most common risk associated with checking a pulse is that it can be difficult to find and feel. If the pulse is too weak, it may not be detected. Other risks include incorrect results due to incorrect technique or incorrect equipment.

Why is it Important to Check a Pulse?

Checking a pulse is important because it can provide a physician with valuable information about a person’s health. A pulse rate that is either too fast or slow can indicate a potential problem, such as an infection, heart issue or other medical condition. Regular pulse checks can also help to track a patient’s progress over time.

When Should a Pulse be Checked?

A pulse should be checked any time a doctor or healthcare professional is worried about a medical condition such as an infection, heart problem or other issue. It is also important to check the pulse in a regular manner to track a patient’s progress over time.