New telemetry floor education for RN

  1. 2
    Hello. I am faced wirh the challenge of creating an educational plan for a medical-surgical unit I am assigned in that will add a 15 bed telemetry wing.

    Some facts about the unit:

    1. All of the nurses have not worked with telemetry before
    2. No one has prior knowledge on EKG interpretation
    3. No one is ACLS certified
    4. No one has seen, touched or worked with a cardiac monitor before
    5. Staff tenure is between 6 months- 25 years
    6. Currently our hospital is offering a 2 day 16 hour EKG clasd

    My dilemma:

    1. unit is opening in September
    2. Management does not have buy in for the 16 hour EKG class and the 16 hour ACLS class

    I an an ER / Critical Care Nurse by experience. I walked into nursing with the sound and sight of minitors hounding my nursing existence daily.I just do not know where to start considering that there are no monitors in the unit yet to use for staff education.

    Help !
    Blanca R and Joe V like this.
  2. 2 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    WOW. First, I would gather information from various sources, including American Heart Asso., about the role of education in a telemetry unit. ACLS is probably the gold standard. Even our monitor techs have Healthcare Provider BLS and attend a dysrhythmia course (designed for their level). The course requires 20 hours of monitoring, printing strips and reading them. You might talk to your risk mgr and discuss the liability of having the equipment with no one to react to it. Hope there is a rapid response team in your facility. There are videos on how to learn EKG strips, but you might have experts to reinforce that education already available (cath lab nurses and others). I appreciate your pro-active approach
  4. 0
    Begin with the organization's checklist that will be used to validate competency in the new unit. This is extremely important, because if there is even a possibility of 'negative' personnel actions (termination, reassignment, etc.) as a result of failure to achieve the required competency... you need to have this in place. DO NOT attempt to train or assess on anything that is not on the list. It will expose the organization (and you) to liability claims ... I'm speaking from experience here.

    Then - do a gap analysis for each nurse that will be affected by the change. This will identify training and development needs. Don't use a one-size-fits-all approach because this is a waste of time and money; and indicates a lack of respect for the nurses you will be dealing with.

    Then - create a pro-forma plan based on the number of staff and the time/resources it will take to achieve the goal (closing the gaps that you identified). You can do this on a spreadsheet... indicating the number of instructional hours it takes for each skill X the number of staff for each skill. For classroom courses, you can figure out how many classes you would need, based on how many could be in each class.

    I would suggest getting creative, using various resources and instructional methods whenever possible. For instances, some nurses could complete basic EKG (rhythm identification) online or using a self-study package of some sort. Look at various vendors to determine the prices they charge. The actual return on investment may be better than if you had to develop & teach all the classes yourself.

    Take advantage of experienced preceptors/volunteers - I have found that many ICU nurses enjoy participating in the instructional process, especially if they can 'earn' points on their career ladder or some other type of recognition (not always salary dollars). Ask the physicians to participate also. You may have to coach them and watch them carefully since they may not stick to your curricula - LOL... but it's very positive, especially for a new service line, to involve the physicians.

    Be realistic - don't expect everyone to be as bright or as motivated as you are. Use standardized assessment instruments to keep yourself (and your organization) from violating FLSA laws.

    Enjoy! Sounds like a fun project


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