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Did your nursing program cover 12 lead EKG?

Nurses   (6,100 Views 29 Comments)
by 2011NursingStudent 2011NursingStudent (Member)

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I am wondering whether to take this class on the side, or if it is something typically covered in nursing programs (ADN).

Thanks

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ChristineAdrianaRN has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatric and Adult OR.

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Nope. I learned how to do one when I was a patient care tech at a hospital during school. It was the tech's responsibility to do it at that particular hospital. In my current job, EKG technicians do it during the day and respiratory therapy does it at night. And then when the print out comes, it already has the interpretation written out. RNs or techs don't do them at all at my hospital. There's really not much to learn. There is a picture you follow typically on the machine and someone could show you in one go if you're curious. Interpreting the EKG is something you learn in school (and they retrained me in an online course after I was hired). I don't think taking an extra class would be worth it.

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5,823 Visitors; 346 Posts

Thanks. It's a $700 class, so I wanted to be sure. I am currently looking for a Telemetry tech/pct/cna job, so it might help me get my foot in the door I suppose, and I was hoping to work in Telemetry or ICU when I graduate as an RN.

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ChristineAdrianaRN has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatric and Adult OR.

1 Article; 7,988 Visitors; 168 Posts

$700?? Eeeesh. I feel like everything you'd need to know for nursing you'd learn in the nursing program. Taking the class might look good for the tech job, but not really worth it. I think it would help you get the job more if they knew how interested you were in that particular department and wanted to stay when you graduate. I think you'd learn more on the job as a tech than in that class, especially since a lot of times they will cross train you as a monitor technician if you express the interest.

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kythe has 8 years experience and specializes in LPN.

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Yes, but I believe we only had a single EKG lab that covered all types of EKG placement, including the 12 point, 5 point, etc. I wouldn't have really retained all of it then (along with all the other skills thrown at us in nursing school) had I not already had experience from years of working in a cardiologist's office as a Medical Assistant. But it is relatively easy to learn to place leads if you really are interested in it. Once you've done it a couple of times on a real patient, you've got it down. The hard part is how to interpret the findings. We went over that in greater detail in lecture, as well as having an entire supplemental textbook devoted to EKG interpretation.

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13,275 Visitors; 2,801 Posts

For $700 I hope they teach more than how to place the leads! In school and on the job, I got crash courses (nor more than 4 hours each) in ECGs (lead placement, how ECGs work and basic interpretation) pretty cursory, though functional. And one can always read up on things without a class.

However, for my own personal learning preferences in regard to professional development, I would consider shelling out (investing) my own money for a GOOD, THOROUGH ECG course. Before doing so, I would have to really investigate the program to see if it truly offered more in depth exploration and intensive relevant practice that would help me to really nail it all down more than the quickie overviews, self study, and catch-as-catch-can-on-the-job already available to me.

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ChristineAdrianaRN has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatric and Adult OR.

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Perhaps this is naïveté on my part, but what *would* an EKG course cover?

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5,823 Visitors; 346 Posts

This is what it covers....I really wish I could learn on the job, the problem is getting that first job as a telemetry tech =)

In our comprehensive 33-hour course, you will receive hands-on training on an EKG machine in class as you learn to take and interpret EKG readings. The course covers the following topics:

  • Anatomy and physiology of the heart
  • Medical disease processes
  • Medical terminology
  • Medical ethics
  • Legal aspects of patient contacts
  • Using the EKG monitor
  • Interpreting EKG readings

Note--As part of the learning objectives for this course, you will take on the role of patient and technician and will practice on EKG equipment. There is no externship, clinical, or student internship for this class.

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13,275 Visitors; 2,801 Posts

Also, I wouldn't go into debt over it or consider it 'a must' by any means, but if the cost is something you *could* afford and if really might help you land a tech job, it could very well be worth it. Just being in the class might afford networking opportunities (finding out about job openings and getting recommendations from the instructor).

Another angle is that while nursing school may cover the same material, it would be review for you and how nice would that be given the sheer volume of other new material dumped on nursing students all at the same time?

But again, I'd try to find out all I could about the quality of the course before paying that much for it.

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10,927 Visitors; 416 Posts

12 Lead EKGs were mentioned in school but we weren't taught about them. I'm a tech and I do EKGs all the time at my job.

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ChristineAdrianaRN has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatric and Adult OR.

1 Article; 7,988 Visitors; 168 Posts

It sounds like it isn't marketed for someone that's in nursing school (more like for MA's, EKG techs, monitor techs, etc). You cover most of that in school and pick up the rest on the job. But if telemetry is what you want to specialize in, it might be helpful to get that extra thorough teaching.

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5,823 Visitors; 346 Posts

It sounds like it isn't marketed for someone that's in nursing school (more like for MA's, EKG techs, monitor techs, etc). You cover most of that in school and pick up the rest on the job. But if telemetry is what you want to specialize in, it might be helpful to get that extra thorough teaching.

I think you're right. Maybe I'll keep applying, and if I still get no calls back, take the extra courses (that and phlebotomy...) and hope I get a call back. In the end, $700 would be worth it if I were able to get a job in the area of my choice, but I know there's no guarantee it will.

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