7.9 Skills Checklist: Pulse


  1. Gather Supplies: Watch or clock with a second hand
  2. Routine Pre-Procedure Steps:
    • Knock on the client’s door.
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Introduce yourself and identify the resident.
    • Maintain respectful, courteous, and professional communication at all times.
    • Provide for privacy.
    • Explain the procedure to the client.
  3. Procedure Steps:
    • Locate the radial pulse by placing the tips of your fingers on the side of the resident’s wrist.
    • Count the pulse for 60 seconds.
  4. Post-Procedure Steps:
    • Check on resident comfort and ask if anything else is needed.
    • Ensure the bed is low and locked. Check the brakes.
    • Place the call light or signaling device within reach of the resident.
    • Open the door and privacy curtain.
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Document pulse and report abnormal findings to the nurse.

View a YouTube video[1] of an instructor demonstration of obtaining a pulse:


  1. Chippewa Valley Technical College. (2022, December 3). Obtaining a Pulse. [Video]. YouTube. Video licensed under CC BY 4.0https://youtu.be/Q82Fn8pLDtg


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Nursing Assistant Copyright © by Chippewa Valley Technical College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book