4 Common Misconceptions About Vital Signs Monitoring

Vital signs monitoring is one of the most important and initial steps medical professionals take when patients begin their appointment.

Most patients might be anxious before or during their appointments, but it might be because of the four common misconceptions about vital signs monitoring.

Oftentimes, patients worry about their health because they don’t understand the specific elements that go into diagnostic tests. Let’s examine some of the misunderstandings that people may have about vital signs.

Technology Will Eliminate Errors

As technology advances in our society, many assume that it will eliminate the issues in our healthcare system. However, that is false. While technology can certainly improve our lives, it does not remove errors in vital signs monitoring.

Any piece of technology can malfunction, rendering its ability to operate efficiently useless. This is why doctors need to train their employees on their vital signs monitoring skills to ensure accuracy each time.

Automatic Monitoring Is Always Faster

It takes time and patience to gather accurate information from each patient, and oftentimes, manual monitoring is much faster than automatic equipment.

Similar to technology’s malfunctions, it might not be as fast as we think, especially for vital signs monitoring. A vital signs machine may react slower due to overuse, so it’s essential to ensure your healthcare staff knows how to take vital signs manually.

Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Are the Same Things

Many people have a misconception about their vital signs in general, such as blood pressure and heart rate. Patients might assume that the two are the same. The medical staff must explain the main differences to them:

  • Heart rate records number of beats
  • Blood pressure measures how strong the blood is in the blood vessels

They may denote that the two vital signs aren’t directly linked. Even though they may rise and fall simultaneously during specific activities, their heart rate doesn’t affect their blood flow. Monitoring both signs, however, can give a healthcare professional a clear diagnosis of the pain the patient may be experiencing.

Timing Doesn’t Matter

Many medical clinics often ask patients to come in for blood work and other diagnostic tests early before breakfast or in the evening around dinner time. This is generally because doctors want to ensure the patient doesn’t have medications in their system at the time of the appointment.

For example, a patient shouldn’t exercise right before heading to a doctor’s appointment, as their blood pressure and heart rate would be higher at that time.

When healthcare staff uses vital signs equipment, they must use proper timing to receive the most accurate results.

These four common misconceptions about vital signs monitoring can affect the quality of a patient’s healthcare experience. Thus, medical professionals must ensure patients understand their vital signs to know how to proceed during appointments.