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Any quick tips


On how to differentiate the different things central monitoring calls us with? We get a lot of patients on our floor with telemetry monitors. We'll get calls and they say things likes "The pt in rm 888 had 11 beats of SVT with a HR of 134 unsustained". I have no clue what that means! I know the unsustained HR is better than sustained, but I don't know much about the rhythms and such :/ Thanks for any tips.

Curious1alwys, BSN, RN

Has 9 years experience.

LOL, girl, right there with you!! :yes: All I have learned is to ask another nurse and/or err on the side of caution and let a MD know. Half the time they are like, "why are you bothering me with this" but that is better than "why didn't you tell me". And ask for a strip of the event. That's all I know to do. But I'm with you, trying to figure out what the significance is of the events even though I might be able to recognize them on a strip. For example, knowing beats of V-tach unsustained can mean cardiac irritability...then I'm looking into causes, you know. There is so much to know that I think maybe "quick tips" won't be so "quick" LOL;)

Oh! And check your patient!!!!!!! :)

Right? Maybe quick was the wrong word :p But yeah, we always go and do a vitals check when they call, to make sure they are stable.


Specializes in Cardiac. Has 1 years experience.

I work tele and I have gotten so used to having the rhythm on the monitor in the room.. It would drive me crazy just getting the call, not being able to see what your doing after the run. Only thing I can tell you to do is go check on the pt as soon as you get the call and see if they're symptomatic of the arrhythmia. That would be the time to notify the doctor or if this is a new occurrence.

I always check my patient as soon as I get a call. Treat the patient, not the monitor :)


Specializes in retired LTC.

I always check my patient as soon as I get a call. Treat the patient, not the monitor :)
Always, always!

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

PP's have all offered wonderful advice.

I'd just like to add. This situation is SCREAMING "patient safety issue" to me. Poor communication is at the heart of the vast majority of avoidable instances of patient harm. This type of communication should be highly standardized and associated with an established protocol so that there is no doubt in your mind what is happening and what you need to do. I realize that this may be way beyond what you intended.... but I urge you to talk to your manager about this and see if you can generate a quality improvement initiative to improve safety for tele patients.