Telemetry nurse duties

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    As a new graduate, I am considering the thought of applying for a telemetry position. The job posting stated that they would consider a new graduate. Before I apply, I'm wondering if anyone can tell me exactly what the job duties of a telemetry nurse entail. I mean, would I have to sit all day and stare at monitors, or will I be utilizing my nursing skills to do patient care as well?
  2. 14 Comments so far...

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    The monitor tech stares at the monitors all day. You would nurse cardiac patients requiring telemetry monitoring.

    Didn't you do clinicals in tele??
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    CCLRN,

    Thanks for your reply. I completed an associates degree in nursing, and my program didn't have formal telemetry clinicals. The only exposure to telemetry that I had was during my preceptorship clinical time in the ICU. It's interesting to know that a telemetry nurse would not only monitor the machines but also be the one to nurse the situation that arises with the client, yet the hospital job posting didn't mention any requirement that the candidate be ACLS certified... That's a scary thought. Thanks again.
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    I'm a new grad working in tele, and I am not ACLS certified nor am I required to be. I talked to my manager about my interest in becoming certified and she actually recommended that I wait a couple years until I have more experience so that it will all "click" better. We have a rapid response team and our floor utilizes them a lot, anyway, but if I wanted to be a part of that team then I believe I would definitely need the ACLS training. For now the only special training I'm required to have is the AACN telemetry course and exam, which is incorporated into my orientation. I work days and so far I'm finding the floor to be VERY busy, but I love it!

    I should also note that my floor is soon going to be requiring that all newly hired nurses have at least a BSN, which I do have, but you should check to see if they require it where you're thinking of applying.
    Last edit by SillyInScrubs on Jan 29, '11 : Reason: Wanted to add something
    Skeletor likes this.
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    SillyInScrubs,

    Thanks for the info. I'm curious to know how long your orientation in tele was? So, if the hospital that I may potentially apply has a rapid response team like yours, then I should basically expect not to utilize any of my hands-on nursing skills huh?
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    Oh no no! The rapid response team would only be called if you assess your patient and suspect that they may be becoming more critical or just have a "bad feeling" and need quick intervention to prevent a code situation or ICU admission. Family members can also call them if they want to. You would still be the primary nurse taking care of your patient, but the team would be there to assist you and help you obtain the necessary orders quickly as well as help implement them. Tele is just like med-surg, except most of your patients will have a history of heart disease and be on cardiac monitors and you will need to know how to read the tele strips and what to do about whatever funky rhythms you identify. (And no you don't sit and look at the monitors all day, but if the techs see something they will let you know so that you can take care of it.) You'll also be doing EKG's every now and then.

    My orientation was about 7 weeks including classroom time.
    Skeletor and finallyRN7 like this.
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    Quote from finallyRN7
    SillyInScrubs,

    Thanks for the info. I'm curious to know how long your orientation in tele was? So, if the hospital that I may potentially apply has a rapid response team like yours, then I should basically expect not to utilize any of my hands-on nursing skills huh?
    Why would the hospital hire you then? Think about it. What point is a nurse who doesn't do hands on care in a hospital (they are called managers). Bedside nursing requires hands on care. Thats what you leaned in nursing school, hopefully.

    In your clinicals, you took care of patients, right? These patients are similar except they have a cardiac focus to their disease process, or just require constant monitoring of their ekg rhythm.

    They still need a bedside nurse to treat and monitor them. That's what you would be doing.
    WillowNMe and finallyRN7 like this.
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    Pts on a cardiac floor are there because they were admitted with chest pain, have a history of A-Fib or other heart disrhythmias, or possibly have had a heart catheterization, etc. You would do all the normal assessments, med passes, etc. for these pts as you would any other unit. They are all on tele monitors, which a unit clerk or tele tech is watching (but not necessarily constantly, in my experience). The nurses are usually required to print a strip and analzye it for the pts chart at least once per shift. In my hospital this is the unit that has the most code blues.
    Lovely_RN, Skeletor, VegetasGRL03RN, and 2 others like this.
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    Oh okay...I understand clearly now. That makes alot more sense to me now ;-). I feel better about applying for the position now. Thanks again!
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    ACLS is required on my Telemetry Unit. Also, nurses are expected to sit at the monitors if we are short staffed so knowing heart rhythms is a MUST. Telemetry units are very fast paced and have a high turn around when it comes to patients. You may start the day with a full patient load, discharge all of them, and admit the same amount of patients before your shift is over. Very good 1st job though! I started as a new grad and it really helped me transition into the nursing role. My orientation was 3 months with various classes including Basic and Advanced Cardiac Arrhythmias and ACLS/BCLS. I don't believe all hospitals require ACLS though? All in all, I would definately reccomend Tele as a first RN job!
    trini_rn2be, Lovely_RN, shesarriot, and 5 others like this.


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