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Lesson Plan: Taking a Patient’s Blood Pressure and Pulse

Blood Pressure and Pulse
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This lesson plan teaches the language used when taking a patient’s blood pressure and pulse.

A2-B1 level

Teacher Notes

●    Topic: Taking a patient’s blood pressure and pulse

●    Timing: 40–60 minutes

●    Lesson type/focus: vocabulary, reading, listening and speaking


●       Speaking: discuss and practise language for blood pressure and pulse

●       Vocabulary: learn/review equipment used for blood pressure and pulse

●       Reading: read for specific information

●       Listening: listen for gist and detail


The focus of this lesson is talking about blood pressure and pulse readings and the equipment used. The speaking activity introduces the topic and gives students the opportunity to share their ideas and experience. The vocabulary activity introduces/reviews key vocabulary which appears in the listening activity that follows. The listening activity also provides a model for the final speaking activity.

Note: this lesson supports the language introduced in the following:

●       Course: English for Care: delivering outstanding care

●       Unit: Patient Admission

●       Module: Taking patient observations: hospital charts: early warning score, pages 9 to 14

Teaching Guide & Answer Key

Part 1: speaking

Put students into small groups and ask them to discuss questions 1 and 2 on the student worksheet. Encourage them to share examples from their own experience.

Do whole class feedback to discuss and share answers.

Suggested answers

  1. Have you ever taken a person’s blood pressure and pulse before?

Students’ own answers.

  1. What equipment do you use to take a blood pressure reading and a pulse reading?

Equipment is either digital equipment (electronic) which takes both readings or manual equipment (sphyg and stethoscope) for BP reading and fingertips for pulse.

Part 2: vocabulary

A. Have students work individually to write the terms below the pictures.

Go through the answers as a class.


  1. radial pulse 2. blood pressure monitor 3. sphygmomanometer   4. stethoscope

B. Have students work individually to complete the sentences. Then ask students to check their ideas with a partner.

Go through the answers as a class.


  1. electronic 2. pulse 3. blood pressure reading   4. wrist   5. cuff   6. bulb   7. sounds  
    8. gauge

C. Have students work individually, or in pairs, to write the terms next to the pictures. Point out that only six terms are needed and these come from the answers in activities A and B.

Go through the answers as a class.

Download the complete lesson plan and student worksheet:


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