Why do physicians check vital signs in patients over their clothes?. I have read in excellent...
medical websites that this procedure is poor medical practice. This includes checking heart, lungs and pulses in feet etc.,
The only vital I have had checked over my clothes was my heartrate. Blood pressure must always be done on skin, otherwise it could be way off. If your doctor is doing that, I would switch quickly as he is showing no concern, but only trying too increase his traffic and patient per day ratio.
I worked as a medical assistant for many years. I would take a manual blood pressure over clothes only when the top the patient was wearing was thin enough. This does not make a difference in the blood pressure reading obtained. However, if they were wearing a thick sweater, than that could affect the blood pressure reading.
For most purposes this is sufficient. As a registered nurse when I needed to listen careful to someone's heart sounds versus just counting their pulse rate I would listen directly over the skin. As someone already remarked, checking blood pressure over clothing is optional, depending on how thick the clothing is; if the sleeve of a shirt would be constricting, this affecting the blood pressure reading, it is better to leave the shirt sleeve down.
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