ekg certification worth the time and money? - page 2

Is it worth spending alot of time and money getting ekg certifications? Or should I just educate myself on it with a book or two plus all the stuff online i can read? I'm still a adn student and... Read More

  1. by   classicdame
    in my facility we do not put much value on these certifications, unless they were done by our education dept. Otherwise we have no idea what the objectives were and how close you met them. We offer dysrthymia courses to new hires and have other resources.
  2. by   MyUserName,RN
    I work on a telemetry floor and the class was a requirement to do before working for 6 months and also before we were able to take the ACLS class that was also required to obtain within a year. But both of these were paid for by the hospital and put on by the hospital. How much you use EKG's will depend on where you work, however, people on all floors of the hospital can be on telemetry, not just the tele floor. I wish that every nurse on every floor was knowledgeable on the basics of tele and reading EKG's because it's scary some of the things that have happened on other floors. We have a requirement to float to the tele monitor room and have monitored pts all over the hospital and I can tell you, the ones on the floors without the training have really let some possibly critical rhythms go on for way too long because they didn't understand the seriousness of it. But...I don't know if it's worth paying for a class. Study it, understand it, but when you get your job, if they need it, they will pay for the class.
  3. by   MyUserName,RN
    As for not being aloud to interpret EKG's....maybe legally we can't "interpret and diagnose", but we are the ones who have to read the EKG and decide how to respond and also to notify the dr of the rhythm and/or use our ACLS and respond appropriately. If you don't know how to read EKG's, the doctor might not even be notified of the rhythm and nothing be done about it. So in reality, yes we interpret EKG's, all the time.
  4. by   cardiacfreak
    I've worked telemetry for 13 years and it is not like riding a bike ( once you get it you don't forget it ) Reading ekg's and rhythm strips is something you should do on a regular basis or you will forget. So unless you plan to work on telemetry it is probably a waste of money. However, that being said, knowledge is power.
    Last edit by cardiacfreak on Sep 18, '13 : Reason: accidently hit send
  5. by   mmccluskey
    I would have to say that they are fairly expensive courses, and often provided by your employer. I also agree that if it is not something you use on a regular basis, it is easy to forget it all! I worked on a telemetry unit for 2.5 years, and a few years out, it took a bit to remember it all. One of the things I read in the OP's post was that you are an ADN student. To that end, I would investigate the job outlook for ADN grads where you live. In the area where I live, ADN grads are waiting 1-2+ years to get a job, (especially in the hospitals), while BSN grads are getting offers before they are even graduates. Because of that, when I graduated last year from an ADN program, I took a job in home care. It took a year to get a job in a hospital. It is a critical access hospital, and not someplace I plan to stay for very long. This fall, however, they are putting me through telemetry ($360), ACLS ($300), PALS ($300), and TNCC ($100)...and in January, after my BSN is complete, I should be at a much better position to get a job in a pediatric ER, where I really want to work.
  6. by   imintrouble
    I've wondered what I'm responsible for as an RN, concerning my tele pts.
    I rely on techs or nurses to alert me to changes in condition. I'm not a SCU nurse, but sometimes have tele pts on the med surg floor.
    What it they overlook something? What if they give me the wrong info?
    What if I give the MD bad info because I was given bad info.
    I've considered investing in an EKG/Telemetry certification class myself, because the above scenarios scare the devil out of me.

    It would simply be for my peace of mind and not for advancement.
    I think it would be worth every penny I spent.
  7. by   Been there,done that
    Quote from applewhitern
    I interpret EKG's every day. Other nurses even bring me their 12-leads to "read" for them. I have never had an employer "send me to class" to learn them. In every job I have had as an RN, I have been expected to know it. I think any skill you have is important. I study all the time, and even re-new my EKG reading skills regularly. I agree that you are far more "marketable" by being well-rounded in your skills.
    No one can interpret an EKG without extensive training. The data in an EKG is presented in several leads and requires a highly trained person to interpret it.

    Telemetry can identify most arrhythmias. However,MI, Bundle Branch Blocks, etc. require EKG interpretation.Telemetry and EKG interpretation are two different skills.


    No way would I ( or any one else) call an MI or heart blocks from telemetry .
  8. by   applewhitern
    @Been There, Done That: Oh, yes, we interpret them all, including 12-leads. Five days after I graduated from nursing school, I was charge nurse of a telemetry unit. Way back then, we got out of school and hit the floor running. We learned to read the telemetry monitors in nursing school, then I learned every single thing I could about rhythms. I still study a lot. We have to interpret BBB's, MI's, etc. every day. Those of us who work in smaller hospitals don't have the luxury of having a designated person to interpret rhythms; we have to. There may be a whole day from when a 12-lead is obtained, and a doctor to "read" it. And yes, we call the doctor and treat the patient as needed; sometimes the only doctor we have is in the emergency room; who has time to go get a doctor to read V-tach, V-fib, SVT, etc? We are expected to know it.
  9. by   Been there,done that
    "hit the floor running. We learned to read the telemetry monitors in nursing school, then I learned every single thing I could about rhythms. "

    Please see my user name. You would want me @ your bedside and your mother's bedside to "evaluate the rhythm".


    The scenario you described is the the reason I quit my last travel nurse assignment. Please see my thread "Should I stay or should I go " .

    However, why ever, whatever.. you are OUT OF YOUR SCOPE OF PRACTICE.
  10. by   hherrn
    Interpretation of EKG's is definitely a nursing skill and well within a nursing scope of practice.

    A
    s far as treating conditions based on a nurse's interpretation? ACLS and PALS protocols.
  11. by   cardiacfreak
    I work a telemetry/pcu unit and we do interpret the 12 lead and phone doctors with our observation. We do have to take a course during our orientation to the unit to be able to interpret the 12 lead. And actually it is an ICU nurse educator that instructs the class. All EKGs performed are also sent to our Cardiovascular Testing Dept and a cardiologist signs off on them however this can take up to 24hours. Most of our cardiologists have fax machines at home so if we are having problems identifying a certain EKG or rhythm we just fax it to the doc.

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