Monitor techs or charge nurse?

  1. Hey guys, I have a question for all you veteran nurses. I am currently a nursing student with 8 months left, and i recently got hired as a monitor tech, reading EKG strips at a local hospital. My question is what is your opinions on monitor techs... GOOD or BAD
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    About tattooednurse

    Joined: Feb '02; Posts: 33; Likes: 4
    Specialty: Er and PICU


  3. by   CindyCCRN
    Hi, Tattooed-nurse to be... (I like your user name)...
    In ICU, where I'm staff, unfortunately there aren't any monitor techs. The hospital uses them on the Intermediate and Telemetry units. I've been floated to these units and am fairly impressed with the techs. They certainly seem to know their rhythms and that's a great help to the unit staff. In ICU, our central monitors are often unwatched and we depend much too heavily on bedside monitors and alarms. Of course, staffing is pretty pathetic... so, much of the time - all the nurses are at the more critical bedsides and more than half the patients are monitored by alarms only.
    ...I do alot of ICU precepting and recently precepted a new GN (6 month preceptorship) who had been a monitor tech on the telemetry unit during her last year of school. She did really well and her exposure to tele and cardiac monitoring certainly was a plus... Good Luck with your monitor tech position + nursing!

    .....Remember that none of us are responsible to care for the
    whole world. The best we can do is care for a world of individuals - one at a time...

  4. by   Jenny P
    I've never worked with monitor tech unless I was floated to a tele unit (I no longer float- as a very senior nurse here, that is a privilege). The one tele unit had monitors where they were inconvienient for the nurses to see them, the others were easier for nurses to watch. I prefer to watch my own monitors, but on tele units it is impossible to watch monitors while doing pt. care. So I guess that monitor techs are necessary there. BUT, when and if I worked with them, I would do my own interpretation of the rhythm strips below their intrepretation. After all, it was MY NAME signed to that LEGAL document, putting MY LICENSE on the line. It always made me nervous thinking that there were nurses who were signing off the rhythms- and even treating the pt. according to the interpretation without doing the strips themselves. Most monitor techs don't have an extensive background in arrhythmias.

    That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.
  5. by   LauraRN0501
    Hi tattoo,

    I was a monitor tech in an ICU before I went to school. Took an intensive course than had to pass a difficult test. I loved my job and would never have left it except to go to school! The experience will be great for you after school. Many of the more experienced nurses I work with aren't as familiar with the rhythms as I am, so I'm glad for that little bit of knowlegde. I say GO FOR IT!!!!

  6. by   rn4trouble
    Hey Tattooed...I worked as a monitor tech/aide on a tele floor for four years, 2 before I went to school and 2 while I was in school. I slept through the whole cardiovascular portion of school and got an A......GO FOR IT.....It is wonderful experience
  7. by   SICU Queen
    We don't have monitor techs in my ICU, but the ones who are on our telemetry unit are TOPS. They absolutely know what they're talking about, and when I worked Tele, if they were hollering, I was running. I have great respect for them.

    Anyway, it'll be excellent skills for your future career as a nurse, and will also give you an appreciation of what a monitor tech does. Go for it!
  8. by   CEN35
    monitor tech? this is the first time i ever heard of a job like that. hope you like it!

  9. by   dawngloves
    It's a great start for you!You'll have such a leg up on the others when you start work.
    Love tele techs! Much better than a beeper!
  10. by   tattooednurse
    hey guys thanks for replies because the nurses here(at my old job) say that they would rather have a nurse there in front of the monitors. We do go thru a class provided by a nurse educator. And the strips for our floor are given to the nurse on our floor to read not us, and the ones for the remotes, we read them but it is the RN responsibility to read them also.
    I've never worked with any Monitor Techs but I would think that they're competent enough to perform their jobs. Hospitals usually gives test prior to hiring them & if they can cut the mustard, I don't see anything wrong with having them...especially on busy telemetry floors.

    I also feel that you'll have such a leg-up in this area of expertise. It can only be a plus to have this experience under your belt!

    Good luck with your studies - Moe
  12. by   jedijennie
    Tatooed-I am a nursing student as well, and I am a monitor tech in the ICU for a hospital here. I've been reading monitors for nearly 2 years now, and it's GREAT experience for when you become a nurse. Basically, I let the nurses know when ANYTHING out of the ordinary happens for the first time, because if I were a nurse (and I'm referring back to what Jenny P said), I would want to know if my patient did something weird. It is their license on the line, so I look out for them, and they appreciate it LOTS!

    A really good interpretation book is the one by Spinghouse, the EKG Interpretation Made Easy. Those books are all great: Fluid & Electrolytes, Clinical Pharm...I love that company! Good luck!