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Teaching vitals

Discussion in 'Education and Training' started by LucidResq, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. LucidResq

    LucidResq New Member

    Location:
    CO
    I have the duty of teaching the probationary members of my SAR team how to take vitals.

    Any suggestions? Is there anything that your instructors did that helped you get these skills down?
  2. mikie

    mikie Forum Lurker

    Location:
    USA
    EMS Training:
    Critical Care Paramedic
    well, not necessarily a suggestion, but I have been a TA (teaching assistant) for the EMT-B class and all I can say is wow. They were taught vitals and many of them failed their practical. I was a victim: my pulse ranged from 48-100 (it was about 88), BP ranged between 100/48-140/90 (it was about 124/80), and my resperations ranged between 8-44 (they were about 16).

    Suggestions? Teach techniques for ascertaining RR while pulse, or maintaining pt contact when checking RR. Even valued #'s and PATIENCE.

    good luck!
  3. BossyCow

    BossyCow New Member

    Location:
    Rural (no... really, really rural) Washington Stat
    EMS Training:
    EMT-Basic
    I generally have my SAR group take vitals on each other. Take a pulse, move to the next person, take another pulse, over and over again. That way they get used to finding the pulses on different anatomy. The repetition works. Also, if the numbers are not anywhere near the same, you can try having them take the pulse on two different arms of the same person and count out loud the beats. Part of this is learning what to count and what to listen for.

    In SAR, are your students EMTs or merely FA certified? When teaching layperson FA I generally teach that it truely doesn't matter if the pulse is 67, 68 or 72.. but is it 40 or 140? Does it stay the same or get faster/slower? Some can get so hung up on being perfectly accurate that they blow it.

    In counting respirations I've always been taught and taught myself to count respirations with a scope while supposedly counting heart beats. If you tell the pt you are going to count their breathing, the breathing becomes conscious and weird.

    Rid has posted an awesome BP taking lesson plan which I have shamelessly stolen and used repeatedly.
  4. apagea99

    apagea99 New Member

    Location:
    Tennessee
    I've searched high & low for it.......can you (or he) post a link to it? I'd like to have something to follow for when I'm at home and able to check BP on the family/friends.

    Thanks!
  5. TransportJockey

    TransportJockey Active Member

    Location:
    TX/NM
    My instructors taught us how, made sure we knew how, and then made us do it over and over
  6. Hastings

    Hastings Noobie

    Location:
    Michigan
    EMS Training:
    EMT-Paramedic
    Doing it over and over and over again. They sent us, as students, to various activities such as Cardiac Rehabilitation centers for the sole purpose of taking vitals over and over again. I've heard of another class setting up in the local mall and offering to do vital checks on strangers. Strangely successful. So anyway, as far as getting good, it's repetition. Just make sure you're stressing accuracy. Don't let them cheat, throw out any number. It's a bad, but common habit. Have students get the vitals on the same person and check it between each other. Just please stress accuracy. I'm so over rolling up to every scene hearing someone tell me that "their blood pressure is about 120/80."
  7. mikie

    mikie Forum Lurker

    Location:
    USA
    EMS Training:
    Critical Care Paramedic
    ^ all great.

    and make sure that they're practicing on more than one other person (ie-our class, they have partners to do skills with, but we make them switch it up for vitals)...otherwise you'll be getting the same results over and over again. I even let them take my vitals (since I have a good idea of what they would be)
  8. flyingdad23

    flyingdad23 New Member

    Location:
    South
    EMS Training:
    Critical Care Paramedic
    Lots of practice and like another poster mentioned have practice readings on multiple people.
  9. mikie

    mikie Forum Lurker

    Location:
    USA
    EMS Training:
    Critical Care Paramedic
    I remember when in basic class, for vitals, we had to take everyone in the classes then compare results. basically see who needed to refine their skills (if their values were off by so many)
  10. marineman

    marineman New Member

    Location:
    Neenah, WI
    If you have access to a training stethoscope (2 sets of ear pieces) that helps so you can compare your number to theirs and point out what they are actually listening for.
  11. Ridryder911

    Ridryder911 EMS Guru

  12. Hastings

    Hastings Noobie

    Location:
    Michigan
    EMS Training:
    EMT-Paramedic
    ^ Vital for testing their accuracy once the time comes. And yes, testing is very necessary. Again, on accuracy. Vitals are a huge base of EVERYTHING else in regards to treatment. Accuracy is vital.
  13. BossyCow

    BossyCow New Member

    Location:
    Rural (no... really, really rural) Washington Stat
    EMS Training:
    EMT-Basic
    I need me one of them double ear scope thingies... anyone have a link?
  14. Ridryder911

    Ridryder911 EMS Guru

    One might check EMS programs that have the "Sims" mannequin. One can preset the vital signs to be accurate.

    R/r 911
  15. imurphy

    imurphy New Member

    Location:
    Manchester, NH
    EMS Training:
    EMT-Paramedic
    Great tip for taking vitals:

    Tell the person you're taking their pulse. Hold their orn up to their chest. first 15 seconds, take pulse. Second 15, take resps!
  16. Ridryder911

    Ridryder911 EMS Guru

    That can be only used if the pulse is regular and non-brady or tachycardiac.

    R/r 911
  17. marineman

    marineman New Member

    Location:
    Neenah, WI
  18. apagea99

    apagea99 New Member

    Location:
    Tennessee
  19. Scout

    Scout Para-Noid

    Location:
    Ireland
    on the teaching scope point,

    you can connect one onto 2, you need to do a small bit of cutting on the head piece of the 1st and then attach another 2 on either stem.

    link

    or connect 2 head pieces to a sprague(sp)

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