Helping the New Nurse learn the Basics
of EKG Reading and when to apply it.
Collection of the most common Cardiac
Rhythms seen in the Clinical Setting
Sinus Rhythms, AV Blocks, Atrial
Rhythms, Ventricular Rhythms, PEA,
Copyright Dear Nurses All Rights Reserved
Ventricular Tachycardia is identified as
a Lethal Cardiac Rhythm.
Learning to identify this arrhymia its
treatment and causes is beneficial to
the New Nurse.
Hand washing is the
key to preventing the
spread of infection
THE EKG AND ITS PURPOSE
The heart is a pump that pumps blood all around the body.
If the heart becomes damaged for any reason, it will be
unable to perform its normal functions.
It has an electrical conduction system which works to stimulate
contraction of its chambers. The EKG reflects both normal and
abnormal function of the electrical system. The SA ( sinoatrial
node is the pacemaker of the heart. The electric impulse
which initiates contraction, starts in the SA node which is
located in the right atrium. If the SA node becomes
damaged for any reason, the AV node attempts to take over the
job of the SA node.
The 12 lead EKG is a very important diagnostic tool.
It is able to detect damage to the heart when a myocardial
Interpretation of the EKG can reveal location of the MI, ischemia,
and many more.
In addition to a 12 lead EKG there are other cardiac studies that
are done to help confirm a diagnosis.
The patient who is having heart problems, is more than likely to
Chest pain, shortness of breath, diaphoresis, hypotension,
nausea and vomiting.
The EKG is a quick way to help establish a diagnosis.
The 12 LEAD EKG is a diagnostic tool
Chest pain may be sharp, dull, feel like
pressure in the chest and radiate to
the shoulders and jaw.
Regardless of the type, chest pain
should be assessed and documented.
Intervention is usually done per AHA
Cardioversion is a form of
Defibrillation is a form of
electrical shock treatment
used to change the heart
from a life threatening
rhythm to a normal one.
Click on the
Heart's Electrical Conduction System
The sinoatrial node (SA Node) is referred
to, as the pacemaker of the heart. It
stimulates the contraction of the atria and
is similar in function to when a light bulb
is turned on. The stimulus from the SA
Node, travels to the AV Node
(atrioventricular node) which in turn
stimulates contraction of the ventricles.
This is just the beginning, learn more by
reading "EKG series What is Wrong with
EASY EKG READING -
The New Nurse
recently AHA guidelines
have changed for CPR?
A - airway
B - breathing
C - chest compressions
we now have
C - chest compressions
A - airway
B - breathing
Amiodarone is an antiarrhythmic drug which
is used for treating both atrial and ventricular
arrhythmias. They include conditions such as
atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia/fibrillation.
Its side effect includes hypotension.
Amiodarone is usually given orally or IV.
A group of drugs effective in treating conditions
such as hypertension, atrial fibrillation, cardiac
problems. They include Atenolol, Propranolol,
Metoprolol. They are given orally or IV.
WHAT EXACTLY IS AN AED?
AED (Automatic External Defibrillator)
has continued to grow in popularity
and is now used in a number of places
including but not confined to :
Churches, airports, malls, offices,
hotels and restaurants. It is used to
treat sudden cardiac arrest.
This implies that the heart has come to
a sudden stop and the vital organs are
then deprived of blood supply.
Lethal rhythms such as, Ventricular
Fibrillation or Pulseless Ventricular
Tachycardia are usually identified.
Defibrillation to restore the heart to its
normal rhythm, is then necessary.
This portable external device which is
conveniently sized and light in weight,
can be brought to the scene of the
patient in Ventricular Fibrillation,
Once the box is opened and power on,
precise instructions are given step by
step, making the use of this equipment
very easy. Pads are attached, It
analyses the cardiac rhythm, then
advices when to shock, and when to
It is very important to note that the
person operating the equipment should
ensure the safety of others. Typically
the operator calls out "All clear" to be
sure no one is touching the patient
and avoids being shocked. Trained
personnel usually operate this
equipment. AHA has guidelines in
place for the correct use of this
has grown in use and is now available
in a number of different places.
SESSIONS 2 Tasks That Seem Unimportant
Sessions 2 - Tasks That Seem Unimportant
addresses tasks that may seem meaningless in
the clinical setting, but are of great value.
Some nurses may be assigned to tasks that are
perceived as unimportant, but there are always
lessons to be learnt, if we look deeper.
TOPICS INCLUDE: 1 What is the lesson to be
learnt? 2 Can you change your thinking? 3The
patient with stroke, 4 Liver failure, 5 Heparin
Therapy, 6 Brain surgery, 7 What can you learn
Learn more: SESSIONS 2