HELP!!! Last semester student needs help with EKG!!!

  1. hey everyone! new to this site as of it! i will be starting my last semester of a bsn program in january. we will really be focusing on ekg monitoring. any helpful tips out there floating around? i know it is a difficult area, but is so foreign to me!

    i know nothing of the measurements of the rhythms or anything! someone help! i have made the grade so far and don't want to blow it my last semester!!!!

    about to be lost in nashville,

    g :uhoh21:
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    About wkucu1

    Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 31; Likes: 5
    Specialty: PEDS ED


  3. by   EricJRN
    Don't panic, G! The most helpful advice that I've found in analyzing EKG's is to develop a system. Every system is a little different, but mine begins something like this:

    - Rate: Slow or fast?
    - Regularity: Regular, regularly irregular, or irregularly irregular?
    - P waves: Present? Upright and rounded? One for every QRS?

    Anyway, it goes on and on like that until you pin down the rhythm. Eventually you'll be able to pick up the interpretations without even consciously thinking of the steps.

    ECG's Made Easy by Aehlert is a good book to get started, but there are plenty of others. The trick is to find a system that works for you and to practice using it over and over.
  4. by   wkucu1
    thanks eric! i really appreicate the advice! i am sure you remember just starting that is confusing. ironically, i just bought that book!

    hope you have a great new year! any other tid bits you remember, feel free to let me know!!!!

  5. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    There is an awsome book out it is called "Rapid Interpretation of EKG's" it is by Dale Dubin M.D. I have recommended this book to several people and all who have read it come out knowing how to read an EKG and more importantly the significance of what they are seeing. You have to read it cover to cover, but it is well worth it isnt that big of a book. Its in soft cover with a bright orange cover (not sure if it is still that color though).

  6. by   Daytonite
    dr. dubin's book is the one that i bought when i was first learning to read ekgs and was working on a stepdown unit back in the early 1980's. it's a good book that's been around a long time. when people asked about ekg books i used to recommend it until someone mentioned something about not wanting to buy any of his products because of his legal problems. i never understood what that was all about. but 25 years ago there weren't all that many references out there like there are today and rapid interpretation of ekgs was what was recommended.

    the way i was told to approach analyzing ekgs was to learn the normal pathway of an electrical impulse and all the physical structures of the heart that it travels through. the aberrent pathway an electrical impulse takes defines each arrhythmia. the other unique thing about the heart that was constantly pounded into me from day one at the cardiac monitors was that the heart goes bad from the top down, so you first start to see problems in the atria, then the junctional tissue and finally in the ventricles. the heart, lucky for us, takes a lot of wear before it finally peters out.
  7. by   NURSJADED
    this is a great site to practice ekg's:
    skillstat's learning tools
    if you have the opportunity to take any of aieme's courses on it they're great!
  8. by   EricJRN
    You will find that Dubin's book comes highly recommended by many, but his past (related to cocaine, child sexual issues and revocation of his license to practice plastic surgery) has garnered a lot of negative attention and many people shy away from his book as a result. Ex:

    Urban Legends Reference Pages: College (Salted Treat)

    I did have an old version of Dubin's book several years ago. While the lessons were interesting, I just didn't think there were enough practice strips included to develop pattern recognition and make the lessons stick for me.
  9. by   sirI
    check out this link in the ccu forum: helpful information for the unit

    many of the suggestions (skillstat, dubin's book) are found in above.

    good luck.
  10. by   VickyRN
  11. by   wkucu1
    thank you so much for all that responded! what a great resource this is! over this christmas break, i will review all of this information and be ready for my last semester!!

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