man having measured blood pressure

Nearly half of US adults are living with high blood pressure (BP) – a leading risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Accurate BP measurement is vital to improving BP control, as inaccuracies can lead to improper screening, diagnosis and management.

To aid healthcare professionals and empower students with the skills necessary for accurate blood pressure assessment, the American Medical Association (AMA) has developed a three-part interactive training module for students. The modules include:

blood pressureBP Measurement Essentials
Over 116 million US adults suffer from high BP. By understanding the basics of in-office BP measurement and self-measured BP (SMBP) monitoring, you’ll have a more informed approach to treating hypertension. This module should be taken early in clinical skills training to build a solid BP measurement foundation.

SMBP Essentials
When combined with clinical support, SMBP can be a powerful tool for patients to take ownership of their hypertension management. In this module, you’ll learn the importance of SMBP and the right equipment to use. This should be taken later in school after the completion of the BP Measurement Essentials module.

BP Measurement Refresher
Research shows that BP measurement skills slowly decline after several months. From preparing and positioning a patient for BP measurement to identifying the different categories of BP, this module should be taken on an as-needed basis throughout your education and career to keep skills fresh and up to date.

Access this AMA Ed Hub article for a short video capturing comments from University of North Dakota students and faculty. They share their experiences in utilizing these trainings to increase their skills and enhance education on accurate blood pressure measurement techniques. Ensuring proper measurement is critical to avoid potential over treatment or under treatment. These modules offer a systematic and consistent checklist and a step-by-step process of taking blood pressure readings.