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ECG help

Critical   (350 Views | 9 Replies)

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Hi, what ECG book would you recommend that does a great job explaining the concepts for someone who is new to ECG?

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brownbook has 35 years experience.

1 Follower; 3,413 Posts; 46,577 Profile Views

There are 3, 5 and 12 lead EKG's.

The basic is the 3 lead, the 5 and 12 give a more three dimensional look at the heart's electrical activity.

Youtube has excellent videos on all of them.

Knowing proper lead placement is AS important, even more important, than knowing how to interpret one.

If you're new to learning about EKG's having a good understanding of the 3 lead is a must.

A cardiologist told me you can ask ten cardiologist to interpret one 12 lead EKG and you'll get 20 answers. And I've heard the EKG machine interpretation of the EKG was more accurate than the cardiologists šŸ˜‚.

Don't get to obsessed with, hung up on, the details. A good basic understanding of the 3 or 5 lead will suffice in most areas of nursing.

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68 Posts; 941 Profile Views

Thank you. How can I practice if not in a hospital setting? Right now Iā€™m taking an ECG online class.

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brownbook has 35 years experience.

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Practice placing leads or practice interpreting them?

Placing leads on a drawing of a person...might be helpful. Actually you can just practice on yourself. Practice feeling and counting your own collar bone, or clavicle to be technical, and ribs. It feels the same on you as it would on a patient. Practice counting down. Practice feeling under your breast. Get some plain tape, or stickers, and put them where the images show.

It's been several years since I was routinely involved with EKG's so maybe the machines are better now, but just having leads V 3 and 4 off by a few millimeters would make a difference.

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68 Posts; 941 Profile Views

Thank you.:-)

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brownbook has 35 years experience.

1 Follower; 3,413 Posts; 46,577 Profile Views

Or you could practice on a friend or family member :).

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caughtupinthismoment has 4 years experience as a ADN, BSN.

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Not a book but www.skillstat.com is helpful for interpreting rhythms on the monitor.

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68 Posts; 941 Profile Views

I'm taking the ACCN ECG course, and it says the rhythm strip is a graphical printout of one or two leads at a time.

I'm confused. It's a 12-lead right? I'm sorry if stupid question but I really want to understand this.

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68 Posts; 941 Profile Views

What is a good ECG book to buy?

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brownbook has 35 years experience.

1 Follower; 3,413 Posts; 46,577 Profile Views

7 hours ago, CinLeo42 said:

I'm taking the ACCN ECG course, and it says the rhythm strip is a graphical printout of one or two leads at a time.

I'm confused. It's a 12-lead right? I'm sorry if stupid question but I really want to understand this.

It is confusing! Is there a picture of the "strip"? ANY EKG is measuring electrical activity of the heart. It doesn't mean it has to be a 12 lead EKG. It can be a 3 or 5 lead EKG. When I see the world "strip" that indicates a 3 or 5 lead EKG that "only" prints out a " strip" of paper. The "strip" of paper is similar in size and to a receipt from a store. A 12 lead prints out on an approximately 8 1/2 by 12 inch sheet of paper.

It's to bad it's so confusing šŸ˜¢. Try to focus on what the heart rhythm is showing on the "strip" or even the 8 1/2 by 12 paper. Try to not get hung up on confusing terminology.

Unless you're working 32 to 40 hours a week where 12 lead EKG 's are done several times on each patient, (so you're looking at 12 or so 12 lead EKG' S every day), I wouldn't spend to much time dealing with the minutia of 12 lead, 8 1/2 by 12 inch EKG printouts. Yes some of the basics can be learned about 12 leads. But "usually" there is an MD, even a cardiologist right there. It's usually not up to the bedside/floor nurse to interpret a 12 lead for rule out MI. Unless the nurse has been working with 12 leads on a regular basis.

The three and five lead "strips" are more the expected responsibility of the nurse. These strips aren't too difficult to learn. Relate PQRST to what the heart is doing. Count the tiny squares, know how many squares are normal between each spike, etc. Learn what a normal EKG looks like. Then you'll see, understand, what an abnormal EKG strip looks like and learn what that abnormality may mean........the patient is brushing his teeth, it's not v/fib šŸ˜‚. Or the electrodes fell off it's not asystole.

Always look at what the patient is doing when you see a sudden change in rhythm.

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