Cardiovascular Assessment > Overview
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This module prepares the nurse for conducting a general cardiovascular assessment on an emergency or critically ill patient. With practice, the focused cardiovascular assessment can be done in approximately 10 minutes and includes the following elements:

  • General assessment
  • Head
  • Arterial pulse
  • Jugular venous pressure
  • Blood Pressure
  • Peripheral vasculature
  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Abdomen

Learning Objectives

After successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify components of a systematic process for the cardiovascular assessment of a critically ill or emergency patient
  • Identify components of the cardiovascular history
  • Identify various diagnostic tests used in cardiovascular assessment and diagnosis
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic components of a cardiovascular physical assessment


Bickley, L.S. and Szilagyi,, P.G. ( 2003). An Overview of Physical Examination and History Taking. In Bates’ Guide to Physical Assessment and History Taking (8th ed).Philadelphia; Lippincott.

Urden, L.D., Stacy, K.M., & Lough, M.E. (2018). Critical Care Nursing Diagnosis and Management. (8th ed). Boston: Mosby.

Woods, S., Sivarajan Froelicher, E. & Adams-Underhill, S., Bridges, E.J. (editors) (2010). Cardiac Nursing (6th ed). Philadelphia: Lippincott.

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