Blood Pressure Test
Some blood pressure testing devices use electronic instruments or digital readouts. In these cases, the blood pressure reading appears on a small screen or is signaled in beeps, and no stethoscope is used.
The following are some suggestions to consider when testing your blood pressure:
- Don't drink coffee or smoke cigarettes 30 minutes before having your blood pressure measured.
- Before the test, sit for five minutes with your back supported and your feet flat on the ground. Rest your arm on a table at the level of your heart.
- Wear short sleeves so your arm is exposed.
- Go to the bathroom prior to the reading. A full bladder can change your blood pressure reading.
- Get two readings -- taken at least two minutes apart -- and average the results.
- Ask the doctor or nurse to tell you the blood pressure reading in numbers.
(Click Blood Pressure Numbers to learn what the blood pressure readings mean.)