Quote from ALCCRN
I have trouble understanding the sensing portion of temporary pacers. It has always seemed backwards to me. I need help explaining this to some new nurses and am not sure enough about it to speak with authority. Let me see if I'm getting this right......If your pacer is undersensing (not picking up the intrinsic beat) you need to increase your sensitivity by turning the sensitivity down. And, on the flip side, if your pacer is over sensing (picking up external things it shouldn't) you should decrease your sensitivity by turning the sensitivity up...Am I saying this right? Is there an easier way to teach this?
You're correct in how you just explained it. It's a bit strange, yes?
A simpler way of teaching it would be this...
Think of the 'sensing' part of your pacemaker as an eye...and the patient's rhythm as what it is 'looking at'.
Now...think of your 'sensitivity setting' as a wall between the eye and what it's sensing/seeing.
If you're over-sensing(seeing too much), the wall is too low and needs to be 'turned up' (making the wall taller) and your eye will then be less able to see/sense all the extra stuff. (thus..turn it 'up' to make you see 'less')...
And...if your undersensing (not seeing enough), the wall needs to be lowerd/turned down, so that your eye can see more...(wall/sensitivity being turned 'down'...so you can see 'more')...
Thats a little rough....but do you get the drift???
It works so MUCH BETTER with pictures...(or little sketches on the back of your kardex...etc.