High Blood Pressure
Frequently Asked Questions
11. What can I do to prepare to have my blood pressure taken?
Here is how to prepare to have your blood pressure taken.
- Sit down and be relaxed when your blood pressure is taken.
- Don't drink coffee or smoke cigarettes for 30 minutes beforehand.
- Sit for five minutes with your back supported and your feet flat on the floor.
- 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 the reading.
You should have at least three readings taken on different days to accurately measure your blood pressure. Ask the doctor or nurse to tell you your blood pressure reading in numbers and to explain what the numbers mean. Write down your numbers or ask the doctor or nurse to write them down for you. You can keep the information in this wallet card, which you can print out and carry with you. The card also includes tips on ways to control and prevent high blood pressure and a list of questions to ask your doctor.