Archive for Apical pulse

How Is Your Heart?

heartAccording to the chart, a new patient being discussed in the weekly team meeting had a “rapid apical pulse.”

One of our chaplains softly asked, “Could someone explain what an ‘apical pulse’ is?”

Saved by a chaplain!! I was glad someone as befuddled as me had asked about that medical term.

Several nurses responded, and soon at least two clueless people learned that taking a patient’s pulse with the stethoscope’s drum (or chestpiece) placed properly over the heart provides medical professionals with the loudest and most distinctive reading. This is called the apical pulse. Checking the wrist is known as a radial pulse and pressing fingers (gently, please) against the neck detects the carotid pulse. Read More →

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