Telemetry nurse duties

  1. As a new graduate, I am considering the thought of applying for a telemetry position. The job posting stated that they would consider a new graduate. Before I apply, I'm wondering if anyone can tell me exactly what the job duties of a telemetry nurse entail. I mean, would I have to sit all day and stare at monitors, or will I be utilizing my nursing skills to do patient care as well?
  2. Visit finallyRN7 profile page

    About finallyRN7

    Joined: Jan '11; Posts: 151; Likes: 15
    from US


  3. by   CCL RN
    The monitor tech stares at the monitors all day. You would nurse cardiac patients requiring telemetry monitoring.

    Didn't you do clinicals in tele??
  4. by   finallyRN7

    Thanks for your reply. I completed an associates degree in nursing, and my program didn't have formal telemetry clinicals. The only exposure to telemetry that I had was during my preceptorship clinical time in the ICU. It's interesting to know that a telemetry nurse would not only monitor the machines but also be the one to nurse the situation that arises with the client, yet the hospital job posting didn't mention any requirement that the candidate be ACLS certified... That's a scary thought. Thanks again.
  5. by   SillyInScrubs
    I'm a new grad working in tele, and I am not ACLS certified nor am I required to be. I talked to my manager about my interest in becoming certified and she actually recommended that I wait a couple years until I have more experience so that it will all "click" better. We have a rapid response team and our floor utilizes them a lot, anyway, but if I wanted to be a part of that team then I believe I would definitely need the ACLS training. For now the only special training I'm required to have is the AACN telemetry course and exam, which is incorporated into my orientation. I work days and so far I'm finding the floor to be VERY busy, but I love it!

    I should also note that my floor is soon going to be requiring that all newly hired nurses have at least a BSN, which I do have, but you should check to see if they require it where you're thinking of applying.
    Last edit by SillyInScrubs on Jan 29, '11 : Reason: Wanted to add something
  6. by   finallyRN7

    Thanks for the info. I'm curious to know how long your orientation in tele was? So, if the hospital that I may potentially apply has a rapid response team like yours, then I should basically expect not to utilize any of my hands-on nursing skills huh?
  7. by   SillyInScrubs
    Oh no no! The rapid response team would only be called if you assess your patient and suspect that they may be becoming more critical or just have a "bad feeling" and need quick intervention to prevent a code situation or ICU admission. Family members can also call them if they want to. You would still be the primary nurse taking care of your patient, but the team would be there to assist you and help you obtain the necessary orders quickly as well as help implement them. Tele is just like med-surg, except most of your patients will have a history of heart disease and be on cardiac monitors and you will need to know how to read the tele strips and what to do about whatever funky rhythms you identify. (And no you don't sit and look at the monitors all day, but if the techs see something they will let you know so that you can take care of it.) You'll also be doing EKG's every now and then.

    My orientation was about 7 weeks including classroom time.
  8. by   CCL RN
    Quote from finallyRN7

    Thanks for the info. I'm curious to know how long your orientation in tele was? So, if the hospital that I may potentially apply has a rapid response team like yours, then I should basically expect not to utilize any of my hands-on nursing skills huh?
    Why would the hospital hire you then? Think about it. What point is a nurse who doesn't do hands on care in a hospital (they are called managers). Bedside nursing requires hands on care. Thats what you leaned in nursing school, hopefully.

    In your clinicals, you took care of patients, right? These patients are similar except they have a cardiac focus to their disease process, or just require constant monitoring of their ekg rhythm.

    They still need a bedside nurse to treat and monitor them. That's what you would be doing.
  9. by   NoviceRN10
    Pts on a cardiac floor are there because they were admitted with chest pain, have a history of A-Fib or other heart disrhythmias, or possibly have had a heart catheterization, etc. You would do all the normal assessments, med passes, etc. for these pts as you would any other unit. They are all on tele monitors, which a unit clerk or tele tech is watching (but not necessarily constantly, in my experience). The nurses are usually required to print a strip and analzye it for the pts chart at least once per shift. In my hospital this is the unit that has the most code blues.
  10. by   finallyRN7
    Oh okay...I understand clearly now. That makes alot more sense to me now ;-). I feel better about applying for the position now. Thanks again!
  11. by   mandarr213
    ACLS is required on my Telemetry Unit. Also, nurses are expected to sit at the monitors if we are short staffed so knowing heart rhythms is a MUST. Telemetry units are very fast paced and have a high turn around when it comes to patients. You may start the day with a full patient load, discharge all of them, and admit the same amount of patients before your shift is over. Very good 1st job though! I started as a new grad and it really helped me transition into the nursing role. My orientation was 3 months with various classes including Basic and Advanced Cardiac Arrhythmias and ACLS/BCLS. I don't believe all hospitals require ACLS though? All in all, I would definately reccomend Tele as a first RN job!
  12. by   finallyRN7

    Thanks a bunch. That's good news to know that a telemetry unit is fast paced. I didn't like med/surg in school so much because the pace was just TOO slow for me and the hours dragged like crazy! I've always been interested in the cardiac aspect of nursing/medicine, so with the pace and nature of nursing that I'd be doing would be a great start for me. Again, thanks a bunch for taking the time to respond and add valuable information to me. I appreciate it. Have a great week! :-)
  13. by   mousedtrap
    I just graduated may 2010. I took a job with the nursing home i was working at until I finally got a job at the hospital. It was on a tele floor, which I wasnt sure I was really up for but I thought I'd go for it anyway. I have been there for 2 months and love it. It's face paced which makes you start thinking of how you are going to prioritize your day at the begining and helps me think of what I need to watch for as the day goes on. We have the telemonitors at all of the rooms so we can watch the patients and the monitor techs to call if something happens when we are with another patient. We also have a rapid response team which we call if someone is in respiratory distress. My hospital told me that I had a year to become ACLS certified. Also, over the summer, the manager that was on our floor changed it so that the new hires had 12 weeks of orientation instead of only 8 weeks. She wanted to hire new grads and felt 12 weeks would be more beneficial for them. I also really enjoy the doctors that we have because, for the most part, they will answer any questions you have and really do like to teach, making the experience better for everyone involved. Hope you enjoy your experience.
  14. by   nursemali
    That sounds great. I have recently accepted a job on a tele floor and should be starting any day now! (just waiting for the paperwork to finally go through..the hiring process takes forever!) Reading everyone's posts about the unit makes me excited.