Apical pulse assessment and location demonstration for nurses: Where is the location of the apical pulse? It is found on the left side of the chest in the 5th intercostal space at the midclavicular line.
The apical pulse is also the location of PMI (point of maximal impulse) and is at the apex of the heart. As the nurse, you will be assessing the apical pulse during a cardiac assessment and before administering certain types of cardiac medications, such as Digoxin (cardiac glycoside). A normal apical pulse is 60-100 bpm in an adult.
Prioring to auscultating the apical pulse, it is important to palpate the apical pulse. The apical pulse may not be palpable in all patients, especially if the patient has a thick chest wall (obesity etc.).
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The apical pulse is a vital sign that is assessed in nursing to monitor the cardiovascular health of a patient. The apical pulse is the heartbeat heard or felt at the apex of the heart, which is located at the fifth intercostal space, midclavicular line. The apical pulse is an important indicator of cardiac function and can provide valuable information about the patient’s heart rate, rhythm, and strength of the pulse.
Auscultation and palpation are the two most common methods of assessing the apical pulse. Auscultation involves using a stethoscope to listen to the sound of the heartbeat at the apex of the heart. Palpation involves feeling the pulse at the same location using the fingertips. In both methods, the nurse should ensure the patient is lying in a comfortable position, and the area is exposed for easy access.
During auscultation, the nurse should place the stethoscope over the apex of the heart, and listen for the lub-dub sound of the heartbeats. The nurse should count the number of beats per minute and note any irregularities in the rhythm or strength of the pulse. This information can help to identify any cardiac abnormalities, such as arrhythmias or heart murmurs, which may require further investigation or treatment.
During palpation, the nurse should use two or three fingers to feel the pulse at the apex of the heart. The nurse should count the number of beats per minute and note any irregularities in the rhythm or strength of the pulse. Palpation can provide additional information about the pulse, such as its regularity and strength, which can help to confirm any abnormalities detected during auscultation.
In conclusion, apical pulse assessment is a critical component of nursing care, and auscultation and palpation are the two primary methods used to assess the pulse. Accurate and timely assessment of the apical pulse can provide valuable information about the cardiovascular health of the patient, which can help to guide treatment decisions and improve patient outcomes.