Vital sign tips, tricks, and review. Part 1: Blood Pressure

SS of Vital Signs Part 1Vital signs encompass the very basics of our EMT education.  It’s one of the very first things we learned besides the “little barking Chihauhuas are meaner than big dogs” scene safety gem.

But, what did we really learn?  And, did we learn it correctly?  EMT through paramedic levels will find this education very useful for their patient care.

Have you, your partner, or even an EMT student ever asked:  Is a radial pulse really about 80 mmHg systolic, or have we been misled?  How do you take a blood pressure on the lower extremity and just how accurate is it?  Are those home wrist-cuff blood pressure monitors worth anything?  And why is the hospital’s BP different than the one I took on this elderly patient?

This CE takes you through what really happens when you squeeze the cuff to debunking some of the myths that may still be taught today.  And, this information is just as valuable to the paramedic as the EMT, especially considering how important vital signs are to our treatment and transport decisions.


Step 1:  Media: Download and read the pdf file (3.9 MB).  Get it here: Vital Signs Tips and Tricks Part 1 BP.pdf


Step 2:  Take the Quiz at QuestBase.  Log into your QuestBase account at  If you don’t have a free account yet, please visit our Contact Us page for information on how to obtain one.  Once you’ve logged in, look for the CE entitled:”Vital signs tips, tricks, and review. Part 1: Blood Pressure“.


Step 3:  Education you’ll earn upon successful completion:  

  • Texas state:
    • 0.75 hour for the Patient Assessment component


  • NREMT for NCCP requirements:
    • All certification levels: 0.75 hour of Local or Individual Continued Competency Requirements

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