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Attaching a patient to a cardiac monitor and obtaining a clear electrocardiogram ECG trace may now be considered basic nursing skills. Therefore, healthcare practitioners undertaking cardiac monitoring are required to have a basic understanding of normal sinus rhythms and some of the common types of cardiac arrhythmia. This will enable prompt recognition of early warning signs of potential and actual clinical conditions, and the timely initiation of treatment.
For many nursing students and new nurses EKG interpretation can be intimidating, to say the least. I remember my first day as a nurse in the ICU. To say that I was overwhelmed is a pretty big understatement.
Accuracy of cardiac monitoring electrode placement, lead selection, interval assessment, and rhythm interpretation is an important component of patient safety in hospitalized patients who meet the criteria for dysrhythmia monitoring. Quality dysrhythmia monitoring requires nurses to have high levels of knowledge and skill for accuracy and effective clinical decision-making. Gaps in practice related to dysrhythmia monitoring have been documented.
For each cardiac rhythm category we provide one or more ECG tracings. A synopsis of the cardiac rhythm dysrhythmia is provided and electronic calipers can be used to study each tracing. A basic EKG course is available using the link below.
Rhythm interpretation is an important part of healthcare in EMS. Trained medical personnel can determine different treatment options based on the cardiac rhythm of a patient. There are many common heart rhythms that are part of a few different categories, sinus arrhythmia, atrial arrhythmia, ventricular arrhythmia.
It is a quick and painless procedure. EKGs captures a tracing of cardiac electrical impulse as it moves from the atrium to the ventricles. These electrical impulses cause the heart to contract and pump blood.
Confirm the name and date of birth of the patient matches the details on the ECG. Hint: If there are obviously P-waves present, check the ventricular rate and the atrial rate. The rates will be the same if there is AV conduction.