Hours: 3 Contact Hours
  • Alicia L. Culleiton, DNP, RN, CNE
  • Lynn C. Simko, PhD, RN, CCRN
Peer Reviewer(s): Bonnie Kirkpatrick, RN, MS, CNS
Item#: N1552
Contents: 1 Course Book (70 pages)
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ECG Interpretation: A Step-by-Step Approach

Price $21.95
Item # N1552
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

PLEASE NOTE: In accordance with accreditation criteria, credit will not be awarded for completion of this course beyond 12/31/2017.

Expiration Date: December 31, 2017

The purpose of this course is to provide the learner with an overview of the clinical significance of common dysrhythmias and to assist the learner in gaining the skill sets to successfully interpret electrocardiography (ECG) rhythm tracings. This course is designed for both the novice and experienced nurse. ECG analysis is a central part of diagnosing and managing a patient’s cardiac status. Because the helpfulness of ECG tracings depends on their correct interpretation and correlation with the patient’s clinical presentation and medical or medication regimen, the content of this course includes a stepwise approach to analyzing an ECG tracing. A step-by-step approach to evaluating the ECG tracing simplifies what many see as a daunting or confusing process.

There is no overstating the importance of learning ECG interpretation. A variety of clinical settings demand the healthcare professional’s skill in recognizing disturbances in the electrical conduction system of the heart and interpreting a patient’s ECG tracings. As the acuity of the hospitalized patient increases and acute care facilities add more monitored (telemetry) beds, the greater the need becomes for nurses to quickly and accurately identify dysrhythmias to assure prompt interventions and life-saving measures when necessary.

The healthcare provider needs to understand that any abnormal function of the heart’s electrical system is of crucial importance because electrical dysfunction can markedly change a patient’s cardiac output, and consequently cause a rapid deterioration in the patient’s vital signs and overall well-being.

Course Objectives

  • Describe the basic principles of electrophysiology and associated principles vital for ECG interpretation.
  • Recognize the six ECG complexes/waveforms as seen in normal sinus rhythm.
  • List the steps for assessing a cardiac rhythm strip.
  • Interpret a cardiac rhythm strip correctly.
  • Recognize electrocardiographic changes that reflect common dysrhythmias.
  • Identify treatment modalities (medical and electrical) for common dysrhythmias.
  • Describe the different types of emergency pacing.
  • Interpret a paced cardiac rhythm strip correctly.

Alicia L. Culleiton, DNP, RN, CNE, is an assistant clinical professor at Duquesne University School of Nursing, where she has taught undergraduate pathophysiology and nursing courses. She has published in nursing and educational journals. Her clinical expertise is in emergency/trauma medicine and critical care nursing, where she has gained extensive experience in treating patients with dysrhythmias. Alicia Culleiton has been a practicing clinician for more than 20 years.

Lynn C. Simko, PhD, RN, CCRN, is a clinical associate professor at Duquesne University School of Nursing, where she has taught at the undergraduate, master’s, DNP, and PhD levels. Dr. Simko is a cardiovascular clinical nurse specialist with more than 30 years of clinical nursing experience in intensive care units (ICUs), coronary care units, cardiovascular ICUs, and medical-surgical ICUs. From the University of Pittsburgh, she earned a master’s of public health degree in chronic/cardiovascular epidemiology, as well as a master’s of science degree in nursing. She earned her PhD in nursing from Duquesne University, where her dissertation focused on the quality of life of adults with congenital heart disease. Dr. Simko has widespread experience in caring for patients with cardiac dysrhythmias.

Bonnie Kirkpatrick, RN, MS, CNS, earned her diploma in nursing at St. Vincent School of Nursing in Toledo, Ohio; her BSN from Otterbein College in Westerville, OH; and her MS in nursing from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She is currently certified as an advanced practice nurse with a CNS in cardiopulmonary nursing. She has worked in intensive care units at Duke University in Durham, NC, and The Ohio State University Hospitals. Most recently she has been employed at The Ohio State University College of Nursing, where she has taught high acuity and leadership to senior nursing students and grad-entry students. She is a national presenter in the area of human-patient simulation and has published work in the subject of NCLEX-RN® success.

  • Contact hours will be awarded for up to one (1) year from date of purchase or through the expiration date indicated above, whichever date comes first.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.