NCLEX Review: Nursing Care of Arterial Lines

This NCLEX review video will discuss what an arterial line is used for, common insertion sites, the modified Allen’s test, and how to monitor a patient with an arterial line. We will explain the nurses’ responsibilities including understanding waveforms, zeroing the line, assessing for blood pressure accuracy, and the 5 P’s of the neurovascular assessment. We look at the equipment needed for assisting with an arterial line insertion, drawing blood, and removing the line.

Arterial Line Management & Nursing Care | NCLEX Review 2018

Nursing Care of Arterial Lines

What is an Arterial Line, ART-line, or A-line?

  • A thin catheter inserted into an artery
  • Used to monitor blood pressure directly and accurately
  • Used to obtain samples for arterial blood gas analysis (ABG’s) – convenient when frequent blood samples are needed


Common insertion sites

  • Radial artery – most common
  • Brachial artery
  • Femoral artery


Allen’s test – performed before inserting an arterial line in radial artery – done to determine collateral circulation of the radial & ulnar artery.


Nurse monitoring patient with arterial line…

  • Understand waveforms on the monitor
  • Know how to zero (calibrate) the arterial line
  • Check for blood pressure accuracy
  • Neurovascular assessment of 5 P’s
    • Pain
    • Pulses
    • Pallor
    • Paresthesia
    • Paralysis
  • Know how to draw blood from art line


**Note: Explanations of how to do all these things are in the video**

NCLEX Questions



by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: August 16, 2019