An Electrocardiogram (ECG) is one of the most common diagnostic tests that nurses will perform in the Emergency Department and can guide diagnosis and treatment of patients suspected of having cardiac abnormalities.
ED nurses are usually the first to assess patients and record an ECG.
Thus, it is essential that they understand and interpret ECG’s in order to recognise common arrhythmias and acute ECG changes. This skill is of great importance when deciding whether to take immediate action, or wait for expert consultation.
Interpretation of an ECG may seem intimidating, but be assured that this skill takes time to master. For nursing students new to ECG interpretation, it really is about having the confidence to practice.
A good knowledge base of cardiac anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology is necessary. By following a few simple steps, you can learn how to interpret basic cardiac rhythms.
Within this module you will find a variety of learning resources to guide you with the process of acquiring an ECG and interpretation.