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Why Your Blood Pressure Matters & Our New Self-Monitoring Kits

Posted on November 2, 2022 at 6:00 am

Guest blog by Erica Collins

What is hypertension? And why should I care about it?

More than 1 in 3 Americans are currently living with high blood pressure, also called hypertension. Hypertension is a medical condition that occurs when blood flows through the blood vessels with a force greater than normal. It puts you at increased risk for heart disease and stroke—two of the leading causes of death for Americans.

Because hypertension often shows no symptoms, it is known as the ‘silent killer.’

Regular monitoring is the best way to know if your blood pressure is too high and can give you a stronger sense of responsibility for your health. That is why managing your blood pressure through self-monitoring is so important!

How can I monitor my blood pressure?

In partnership with Providence Community Wellness, Spokane County Library District is now offering Blood Pressure Monitoring Kits for check out with your library card. These kits will allow you to monitor and track your blood pressure at home. The kits are available at all 11 Spokane County Library District locations. Each kit can be checked out for 28 days.

Some people see varying blood pressure numbers when visiting the doctor’s office. Regular monitoring at home is an easy way to determine your blood pressure over time and to have those numbers to share with your doctor. By being more informed about your actual blood pressure levels, you and your doctor can make more educated treatment decisions.

What is included in the kit?

The Blood Pressure Monitoring Kit comes with an electronic blood pressure monitor and arm cuff with a log to keep track of your readings. Also included in the kit are educational materials about blood pressure, the importance of self-monitoring, and what a healthy blood pressure range looks like.

You can check out a kit for up to 28 days to allow you to track your numbers consistently for four weeks.

Where can I learn more?

Providence Community Wellness logo

Providence Community Wellness offers an online course to those wanting to learn more about blood pressure management.

This four-week course covers topics including the definition of hypertension, self-monitoring, stress management, sodium intake reduction, physical activity, the DASH diet, and more! Classes meet virtually once a week for four weeks, and those who participate in all four weeks receive a free blood pressure cuff to keep.

All are welcome and encouraged to participate in the course. The class costs $40, but scholarships are available upon registration for anyone who needs it. You can register online for the Blood Pressure Self Management – Online class and view all the Providence Community Wellness Classes and Events online as well.

If you have questions about enrollment, please email wellness.WA@providence.org or call 509.473.6007.

Erica Collins, health educator for Providence Community Wellness and Health Training

Erica Collins is a health educator for Providence Community Wellness and Health Training. Along with creating blood pressure management kits, she teaches several wellness classes to various communities in Spokane. She earned her B.S. in Physiology from the University of Arizona, M.S. in Health Education from Texas A&M, and has a CHES certification. When she isn’t teaching wellness classes, she enjoys hiking, paddle boarding, and exploring all the different restaurants Spokane has to offer! You can reach Erica by email at wellness.WA@providence.org.

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