How to Check Your Heart Rate

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To check your heart rate, find the pules either on the side of the neck or on the wrist, press the index and middle fingers over the pulse and count the number of beats that occur during a 60-second time period. Monitor your heart rate, making sure it does not fall below 60 or above 100, with information from a board-licensed practical nurse in this free video on health care.

Part of the Video Series: Hospital Basics
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Video Transcript

A high or low pulse can be a dangerous thing and what you need to do is to monitor your pulse. I'm Dan Carlson, I'm a nurse and today we're going to go through how to check your heart rate. It's pretty simple actually. The first thing you want to do is find a pulse and usually what you'll do is go to the right or left side of your neck and feel around this area and wait until you feel the blood rushing past through your forth finger and your middle finger. Never use the thumb because the thumb has a pulse of its own and can throw the numbers off. If you can't find one on your neck, check on the radial side with the thumb side of your hand near the wrist. You should be able to feel a beat. Once you get that beat, count how many times it beats within a minute. Now the shorter way to do it is to count fifteen seconds and time by four, thirty seconds times by two or ten by six, however you want to do it. It's most accurate to do it a full sixty seconds and keep the count. A normal pulse is sixth to a hundred, so if you're going really high over that or really low below that, you may want to contact a health professional in your area. I'm Dan Carlson, thank you very much.

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