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Any Tips for Teaching ECGs?

Specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds. Has 16 years experience.

This will be my first year of teaching senior-level ADN students basic ECG interpretation. Any tips or advice would be most welcome :)

Hmm. Well, I'd teach the electrical pathways in the heart, the PQRST and how they relate, the basic normal and abnormal rhythms; and how they can effect the heart's function. You could briefly touch on ACLS and the theory behind some of the basic algorythms; pulling in symptoms of heart failure (high and low output).

I don't think its necessary to go into great detail nor to teach 12 lead interpretation necessarily; but its nice to have some basics of rhythm strip interpretation, as some nurses will start on a tele unit. .

Have fun...I did a lot of teaching of EKG on the job with new nurses...it was fun. :).

sirI, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB. Has 30 years experience.

This will be my first year of teaching senior-level ADN students basic ECG interpretation. Any tips or advice would be most welcome :)

Once you cover the basics, then you might try showing them what an MI looks like on the ECG strips. I found it helpful to draw lines connecting the leads that showed what part of the heart was involved. It gives a good "minds eye" of how the leads on the 12 lead related directly to a specific part of the heart. I used this on overhead at first and then put it on Powerpoint.

I also like to go to the 6 second ECG online and let them look at the strips as they are moving. They get to analyze the strips for accuracy. Put on Powerpoint, too.

The ACLS ECG sites are good, too. You can get helpful ways that are interesting and get the students attention. Go to:

http://www.randylarson.com

There you can click on the Rhythm Master link and then click "start rhythm master". This, too, will show the 6 second strip and multiple choice for the student to view. You can also click on the Mega Code link and will put you through a code. You may or may not want to do this, but, it lets the student see the strip and that ACLS protocol should be followed. If I have time, I play around with these. It gets the students involved and they seem to enjoy this.

I'm a tele tech and an LVN, you can pm me anytime.

Speaking of strips, I had one pt last night go from SR to Mobitz II, 3rd AVB, Idioventricular, Asystole (Atropine given somewhere in there), and back to Idioventricular rhythm. :o

I saved the strips :coollook:

Too bad my scanner isn't installed yet on my computer.

EKG's . . . . . . . . . . aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! :eek: :chair: :selfbonk: :cry:

(Did I mention I hate them?)

You need to figure out how to reach a person like me who looks at a strip and freaks out when asked to interpret. I'm hopeless. I've taken interpretation classes. I've read Durbin's book many times. Once someone starts getting past PQRST and into the why's of the electrical stuff, I'm lost.

There WILL be someone like me in your class, I promise.

steph

Edited to add - I was thinking of what is the most frustrating part and that is all the advice I get at work when trying to interpret . . . one person will measure and say it is "this" and another will measure and say it is "that" . .one person "interprets" it as one rhythm and the next person says something different. I see no hard and fast standard - no black and white. It is all up to the person interpreting it - at least that is the impression I get. When I count the little boxes, I count a different number than others.

And here is another little peeve . . . why are those boxes so darn little?

dutchgirl

Specializes in peds, peds ICU, OB, Cath Lab,home health.

This will be my first year of teaching senior-level ADN students basic ECG interpretation. Any tips or advice would be most welcome :)

Hi Vicky, after going to classes, and trying lots of different approaches - I finally read Dale Dubin's book, from cover to cover , mostly looking at the drawings! Somehow those drawings with the explanation just did it for me, and I still use it as a reference. (That was ten years ago) Good luck - hopefully your students will find the way that gets through to them...

I had the same experience dutchgirl did. Dale Dubin's book is awesome. It should be required reading for nursing students IMO.

~Lauren

VickyRN, MSN, DNP, RN

Specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds. Has 16 years experience.

Thanks to everyone for all the great advice. I definitely plan to get Dale Dubin's book ASAP! :)

the dubin book is an absolute must have!

SEOBowhntr

Specializes in Cardiac, Post Anesthesia, ICU, ER.

I've taught Rhythm Recognition and a variety of different EKG classes to small groups in the hospital I work in. I have a MS Word document at work that has been used at the local Nursing School, if you don't need it before Sept. 5th, PM me and I will try to attach it to a response PM.

As far as teaching EKG interpretation for ischemia location and vessels involved, I have been doing this also for years, and have taught most of my staff this skill to a proficiency level that they can readily indicate what Coronary Arteries are likely affected. PM me if you have any questions.

the dubin book is an absolute must have!

What is the title of this Dale Dublin book? I can't seem to find it on the net.

VickyRN, MSN, DNP, RN

Specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds. Has 16 years experience.

What is the title of this Dale Dublin book? I can't seem to find it on the net.

Rapide Interpretation of EKG's (6th Ed.) by Dale Dubin, MD :D

I was taught the cardiac system well and for me the trick was simplicity. First the basic anatomy and physiology crisp and clear. Then the conduction system and piece them together... starting with the norm...with lots of repitition and consistency. Once the norm is understood I was able to understand the abnormal. My professor always pieced concepts together like S1=Lubb=systole=m/b valves S2=Dupp=diastole=a/p valves.... paying close attention to the coronary arteries being the first perfused....etc... once the a&p is known u can learn the elec. conductivity easily b/c it represents the a&p... simple is the key... meow

This will be my first year of teaching senior-level ADN students basic ECG interpretation. Any tips or advice would be most welcome :)

First look at the p wave to see if it sinus rhythm and then check the qrs regularity and count the seconds for the pr interval, qrs wave, and the st segment, and the rate by counting the number of qrs waves in 60 seconds.The best way to remember is to practice when in clinicals and reviewing your ekg book as you look them up in repetion.I know it sounds a lot to remember, but it will come easier to you as it goes.Thank You.

i might say..why don't you tell them the normal heart circulation first then the conduction (Right atrium follwed by SAN etc.)...then follows start with a simple rthym say..normal sinus rhythm then brady ..etc..i teach my friend about that and he always forgot things so i just incorporate simple problem first..do i sound interesting..i hope this works...gudluck

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