I agree with what Suzanne mentioned, esp about teaching the normals first (and pointing out what normal is in different leads...etc)
I would stress finding a system...Teach the basics first:
Electrical system of the heart
Waveforms (P, QRS, T...positive and negative deflections)
Interval Measurement: Normal values and what it means physiologically
To help you can make a graph summary page that lists normals, how to measure it and what it represents.
Next you can discuss rate determination and how to calculate it. Is it normal or abnormal?
Back to a system:
Atrium: Is there a p wave? Is it regular, irregular, or regularly irregular? What is the rate of the P waves? Do the P-Waves look alike or do they vary in configuration?-> P Wave Rhythm, P Wave Rate, P Wave Configuration
AV Conduction: What is the PR interval? Is the PR consistent or does it vary from one cycle to the next? How many P waves are there for each QRS?-> PR Interval, P to QRS Ratio
Ventricles: QRS rhythm (what is the rate)? Are the QRS' regular, irregular, or regularly irregular-ie: grouped beats. What is the duration of the QRS (discuss the implications...) What is the QT interval...QTc intervals...
-> QRS Rhythm, QRS Rate, QRS Duration, QT Interval
Intrepretation: Is the pacemaker Sinus/Junctional/Ventricular? Is the AV Conduction normal? Are they any abnormalities: pauses, premature beats, abnormal rhythms, supraventricular/ventricular....any flat lines? :chuckle
Always remember to include patient assessent...if the monitor shows a flat line and the patient is talking to you- he's not dead. If the monitor shows a bunch of squiggly lines and the patient has parkinsons or is brushing their teeth, it is probably not VF (or symptomatic VF anyway)...What is the BP, are they tolerating changes in rhythm?
It is my feeling that in a basic class, stressing patient assessment and teaching a basic system to intrepretation is key...it dosen't come together for most until you can practice alot and have to use it, IMHO!