Nursing: Basic ECG Recognition and Interpretation

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About the Course

ECG interpretation is an essential skill for nurses practicing in areas where patients are cardiac monitored.  Nurses caring for monitored patients should have a thorough understanding of what the ECG rhythm strip shows and how rate and rhythm affect their patients.  It is also important that nurses be able to identify and correct problems that prevent accurate interpretation of the rhythm.  This course provides an overview of the most common, basic non-life-threatening rhythms to refresh your knowledge and increase confidence in your rhythm interpretation skills.  The course reviews the normal sinus rhythms and the most common cardiac dysrhythmias to help you better understand the effects dysrhythmias have on patients and recommended nursing interventions. 

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:
  • Describe the information attainable from the electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor.
  • Discuss the nurse‚Äôs role in rhythm monitoring.
  • Recognize normal rhythms, paced rhythms, and basic dysrhythmias on the ECG monitor.
  • Discuss the mechanisms of basic dysrhythmias.
  • List appropriate nursing interventions based on accurate identification of common dysrhythmias.

About the Author:
Dawn Altman, RN

Dawn Altman, RN, is an expert cardiology nurse instructor who has been educating nurses and other health care providers in ECG interpretation for over 35 years. After an extensive career as an emergency department nurse and paramedic clinical instructor, she worked in a large full-service cardiac hospital. In 1986, she authored an ECG textbook. She currently administers free web-based teaching materials for other ECG instructors.

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