New Adventure: Tele/Stepdown... Advice Please!

  1. I am a reentry RN returning to the hospital setting after 10 years of working in home health and school nursing. I will start my preceptorship next month in the Tele/Stepdown unit.... am really excited but also nervous! I would really welcome any and all advice, such as.... what textbooks, etc. are the best for learning EKG/ECG interpretation; what are other priorities I should be brushing up on to prepare; what is the best cardiac stethoscope, etc. Any other words of wisdom and advice are welcome!

    Thanks in advance
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   madwife2002
    Good Luck you will enjoy it. My advice to you is read the monitors as often as you can to become familiar once more with rythmns. There are hundreds of EKG made easy books but I find to look and identify as they are happening is great for my learning.
  4. by   dianah
    Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions.

    And give yourself time to learn.
    It will all seem overwhelming at first, but after, say, two months there, you'll look back and be able to identify things you have learned or are better at, in that time.
    Then you can look forward and learn some more.
    Imagine what you'll know/learn in a year!

    Congrats and good luck!
  5. by   kymaja
    Thanks for the encouragement! I tend to be independent (thus home health, school nursing) and don't like to feel like I'm asking something "silly"..... I'm praying for a wonderful preceptor and team of nurses!

    Have a great one!
  6. by   al7139
    You will do fine.
    Just remember that the tele monitors are your friends. Where I work, they all pretty much know me now, since I will call them frequently to get help with a funky rhythm. They are the trained specialists after all.
    I don't know about textbooks, but we do get training classes on tele interpretation. Also, I have seen lots of rhythms that would put me on the floor, but the pt is asymptomatic, so go figure...
    In my humble new grad opinion, there is nothing like hands on experience to teach you. I HATED cardiac in school, but love it now that I am working. It is so interesting, and there is always something new to learn.
    You preceptor if they are good, will help you, but even after you are on your own, you will nedd help, this is where I hope you are working on a unit with nurses who are willing to help you like I am. I constantly ask if I am in doubt! But as I always say, at least I ask before I do something! Knowing the common cardiac drugs will help you as well. Bring you drug guide if the unit doesn't have a current one.
    As for stethoscopes, I use the Littman Cardio III. I love it, but other people may have a different opinion. It is expensive, but worth it.
    Good luck.
    Amy
  7. by   nursej22
    I recommend Dale Dubin's "Rapid Interpretation of EKG's" . It is one of those programmed books that quizzes you as you read it and reinforces what you've learned.
  8. by   tbrnbsn
    i have learned that no question is silly. if you have a question ask. you do not want to make a mistake. as for learning rhythms, watch the monitors. there are many good books out there. laura gasparious vonfrolio has great books and interesting ways to remember rhythms. she makes learning fun

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