Easy Way to Remember Blood Flow Through the Heart

Alex Stage May 11, 2024
Blood Flow Through the Heart

It’s the night before a big test.

You’ve been studying for hours but still can’t remember the 12 steps of blood flow through the heart.

When faced with a situation like this, you have two choices.

Give up and hope for the best. Or use a mnemonic, rhyme, or song to help you easily remember the steps.

If you’re smart (and we know you are), you’ll choose the latter. So, let’s dive in and discover an easy way to remember blood flow through the heart.

Jump to Section


  1. What is the Role of Blood Flow Through the Heart and Body?
  2. Where Does Blood Flow Through the Heart?
  3. Order of Blood Flow Through the Heart

What is the Role of Blood Flow Through the Heart and Body?

Before delving into the mnemonic, let’s explore the role of blood flow through the heart and body.

The heart serves as the body’s pump, propelling oxygen-rich blood to tissues and organs while simultaneously receiving oxygen-depleted blood for reoxygenation. This cyclical process ensures the body meets its metabolic demands efficiently.

Where Does Blood Flow Through the Heart?

Blood flows through the heart in a 12-step process, beginning with the right atrium and ending with the aorta.

This series of steps is essential for maintaining proper blood circulation.

Order of Blood Flow Through the Heart

Understanding the order of blood flow through the heart is essential for accurate client assessment and intervention.

Here is the order in which blood flows through the heart.

Right Side of the Heart

  1. Superior and Inferior Vena Cava (SVC and IVC): Deoxygenated blood enters the right atrium through these veins.
  1. Right Atrium: Blood accumulates in this chamber before contracting and pushing blood through the tricuspid valve.
  1. Tricuspid Valve: This one-way valve prevents the backflow of blood into the right atrium.
  1. Right Ventricle: After going through the tricuspid valve, deoxygenated blood enters the right ventricle for contraction to push it towards the lungs.
  1. Pulmonary Valve: From the right ventricle, blood pumps through this valve into the pulmonary artery.
  1. Pulmonary Artery: This artery carries deoxygenated blood to the lungs for oxygenation.

Left Side of the Heart

  1. Pulmonary Veins: Oxygenated blood returns to the heart from the lungs through these veins, entering the left atrium.
  1. Left Atrium: Blood travels through this valve from the left atrium to the left ventricle.
  1. Mitral Valve (Bicuspid Valve): Oxygenated blood enters the left ventricle through this one-way valve.
  1. Left Ventricle: The left ventricle, the thickest chamber, pumps oxygenated blood through the rest of the body.
  1. Aortic Valve: From the left ventricle, blood pumps through this valve into the aorta.
  1. Aorta: The aorta, the largest artery, carries oxygenated blood to all parts of the body.

Study tip: Remember, the right side takes blood “right” to the lungs. While on the left side, the blood “left” the lungs.

Mnemonic for the 12 Steps of Blood Flow Through the Heart

One mnemonic for blood flow through the heart is “Try Pulling My Aorta.”

This can help you remember the order of the valves.

  • Try: Tricuspid Valve
  • Pulling: Pulmonary Valve
  • My: Mitral Valve
  • Aorta: Aortic Valve

Find one that works for you and practice reciting it to help solidify your knowledge of the heart’s anatomy and blood flow. 

Lastly, don’t forget that this is just one simplified version of blood flow through the heart. More detailed and complex pathways can occur in certain conditions or medical situations.

Master the 12 Steps of Blood Flow and More

Sign up for a free trial of SimpleNursing’s comprehensive nursing school resources, including mnemonics and study guides, to ace your cardiovascular physiology exams.

Don’t let complex concepts overwhelm you. Empower your learning journey with SimpleNursing.

Want to ace Nursing School Exams & the NCLEX?

Make topics click with easy-to-understand videos & more. We've helped over 1,000,000 students & we can help you too.

JOIN FOR FREE

Nursing students trust SimpleNursing

Simplenursing student
I cannot express enough gratitude for Nurse Mike and this wonderful platform he has created. I had a subscription to SimpleNursing the entire 2 years of my nursing school career and it was the best resource I had available to me. The visuals, the explanations, the memory tricks, the songs, the study guides, and the test questions are brilliant.
read more
Simplenursing student
Before starting nursing school, I was a C-average student. I didn't think I'd be competent enough and make it through my second semester. I was told about SimpleNursing and purchased it immediately. Long story short, I graduated nursing school with honors and passed all of my classes with As and Bs only. I would have never been able to do that without the help of SimpleNursing. Nurse Mike teaches in the only way that I am able to learn and I cannot thank him enough.
read more