The BP Cuff
I am certainly not an expert on taking blood pressure and concede that when I need a more accurate reading I go to the experts, the nursing assistants. Since they are generally the ones who check blood pressure on patients more often than I do, they should be able to hear the pulse that I miss. I have been to places that lean heavily on the machines with tattered cuffs or the slap-on wrist blood pressure cuffs. Call me old school, but I do not want to rely solely on a machine for an accurate reading of someone's blood pressure.
Then something happened. I was talking to a health provider who said she watches the dial to record the blood pressure. No stethoscope involved. That was scary because there are medications that have to be given if a patient's pressure is above or below a certain reading. It doesn't take much effort to place a stethoscope on the arm, tighten the cuff and listen as you deflate the cuff.
Maybe the next time the doctor wants an accurate ROM measurement on a TKA patient or when an insurance company wants to know how far someone walked, I'll just take a wild guess and blurt out some numbers. It would be about as accurate as watching a dial flutter back and forth.