Evidence Based Practice

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Accurately Measuring Blood Pressure: Factors that Contribute to False Measurements

Brooke Brown

The Loewenberg School of Nursing

Accurately Measuring Blood Pressure: Factors that Contribute to False Measurements

Blood pressure measurement is known as a "vital sign". That is because the information that is retrieved from the accurate measurement of blood pressure provides the data for the plan, the decisions, and the outcomes in a patient's medical treatment and is necessary in all patient care settings. Some of the factors that can affect blood pressure measurement are the size and placement of the blood pressure cuff, the placement of the stethoscope, and positioning of the patient. Evidence based practice is "The deliberate use of current best evidence to make decisions about patient care" (Ignatavicius & Workman, 2010, p. 5). Evidence based practice is significant to nursing and healthcare because it provides the opportunity for patient care to be more effective, individualized, streamlined and gives healthcare professionals a basis for why they are implementing certain skills.

Necessity of Skill

Blood pressure is known as the pressure exerted by circulating blood on the walls upon the walls of the blood vessels. Blood pressure measurement is one of the first steps in detecting hypertension and is the most reliable way of knowing the effectiveness of treatment as well as the key to blood pressure maintenance.

Safety Factors

The major problem with inaccurate blood pressure measurement is that health care providers may make decisions in patient care based on the data collected which may result in negative and unexpected outcomes for the provider and more importantly the patient. The patient could possibly be denied treatment that is necessary but they may also be misdiagnosed and given treatment that is...