What is Telemetry nursing?

  1. I have been a MS RN for 3 years and I want to advance my career. I assume the first step is to become Tele certified and then ACLS. Anyone care to comment on taking that first step, please do. I work on a CNS/ Neuro Surg floor at this time. We do have pts on tele and a screen showing rhythms and I study it all day. I have taken a course called "Basic Arrythmias", is that all I need to work on a Tele floor. Do I need a EKG course? Do I need ACLS? anyone with an insight before I take the plunge??
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    Joined: Oct '07; Posts: 18; Likes: 2


  3. by   dianah
    My advice is to seek the opinions of the nurses or telemetry monitoring staff who work on tele floor, and/or of their Nurse Manager.
    You will get much more specific and useful information for that particular unit.
    Policies may vary from facility to facility.

    Good luck!
  4. by   al7139
    I am an RN who just graduated 10 months ago. I work on a tele unit. I was hired right out of school (actually before I graduated, since I did clinicals there and interviewed during that time).
    Really, you don't need alot of fancy training to work on a tele unit. I spent three days in a class to learn the basics of telemetry analysis (normal, abnormal, emergent). I am BLS certified, although I plan on becoming ACLS certified this year. You are not required (at least in my hospital) to be ACLS certified to work tele.
    I will admit it can be intimidating at first, since you will be learning even after you start taking patients. I am lucky that my preceptors were great, and the staff on a whole are available if I have questions. Also, I made sure to get to know the tele monitors, and if I see something "wierd" I call them and get their opinion since they are the real experts.
    You will be trained to get EKG's and you will learn the protocols to follow for chest pain, etc.
    In my opinion, it's been a great learning experience for me so far (I still have so much to learn!), but it is also experience that will be so important no matter what I decide to do in the future.
    I hope you decide to go for it!
  5. by   pipersjo
    In my experience, it is unusual NOT to be ACLS certified on a tele floor. I have been working tele(my first nursing job) for about a year and I am not certified, but that is because I just switched jobs and my first job wanted us to wait awhile and learn to be a nurse before becoming ACLS certified. I do agree with dianah-- check with nurses and managers in your hospital for policies and all of that because every facility is different.
  6. by   MSPYOU
    I Am Currently Enrolled In A Lpn Program, And I Am Interested In Telemetry. What Areas Do I Need To Focus On? What Is The Starting Base Pay For Lpn In Louisiana And Do Telemetry Make More?
  7. by   truern
    On my tele unit you must be BLS and ACLS certified. We also had classes in cardiac meds, drips, reading EKGs, etc.
  8. by   Spatialized
    On my units we are all ACLS certified. We go through yearly refresher training and updates for arrhythmias, meds, 12-leads and other things. We take a 2 day initial EKG course to start us off. But I have a feeling we are the exception rather than the norm.

    One thing I learned when I helped hire folks on my unit was this: if the unit is going to require you to be ACLS certified, they will usually pay for it. So let them pay. But I do agree that you should have some time on the floor prior to taking ACLS just so you can place the situations in perspective.

    But I would talk to the Manager of the unit first and also other nurses who are on the unit to see if this is what you want. There's nothing that says you can't just jump to the ICU either.

    Best of luck,
  9. by   Kevzz
    Telemetry is a good place to work if for no other reason the ratio is less....4:1. The patients have heart monitors which is great because you can see right away at the nursing station if your patient is having distress...something you dont have in med surg. Even with 4 patients though, you are still very busy. If you like cardiac nursing this is a place to start.
  10. by   jennn602RN
    At my hospital it is required to be ACLS certified within a year of hire, i think even if your hospital does not require it, every tele nurse should take the course. It can only do you more good. We had a pt code the other day and the nurse had not taken her course yet, she did not recognize or know what to do right away for Vfib and the patient didnt make it, even tho she called a code right away. the cardiologists flipped out and ripped our manager a new ******* because they said EVERY NURSE NEEDS TO BE ACLS certified!
  11. by   jimbr1
    Every hospital has different policies for their telemetry floors. Some require ACLS, others do not. Some will do cardiac drips while others do not or have limited cardiac drips that they are allowed to utilize. If you are going to work on a telemetry unit, I would suggest getting your ACLS.
  12. by   anonymurse
    We're 6:1 on nights, usually start with 4-5 and admit 1-2 ERs. ACLS required within first year. Love the fast (sometimes insane) pace, love working with conscious patients who are educable and susceptible to motivation, love the teamwork (when the going gets rough, everyone helps out and doesn't worry about how they'll finish all their work, 'cause afterwards, everyone helps out everyone who's in a tight), love the interesting group problem-solving process. Just wish corporate would bring back the overtime.
  13. by   sunshine888
    basic arrhythmia class should be good for a general tele floor. these days in college that is included in your courses and so when u r out of college you can directly apply for tele floors. The tele classes are simple and not bad at all..
  14. by   ghillbert
    Also don't be nervous about ACLS. It seems intimidating, but really at the end you feel so much more confident in your ability to handle emergencies.

    I recently did my first ACLS recertification in the US. I found it significantly more enjoyable and less stressful than my Australian experience. I have many years of cardiothoracic critical care experience, but our ACLS certifications at home were much more adversarial and scary! We had to just walk in, get various simulation scenarios and deal with them - rhythms, meds, defibs etc.

    Over here, we had a pre-test which made you feel well-prepared, then watched videos, went through simulations as a group, and took a post-test. Quite fun!