Med-Surg Telemetry

Specialties Med-Surg


I was informed that telemetry beds will be added to several of our med-surg floors by this fall. Staff is to receive teaching/orientation to this prior to beginning. Does anyone work with med-surg telemetry? Does it work for nursing? I can think of positives and negatives for the situation.


1,577 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg Nursing.

I worked in a hospital that allowed most of it's med/surg beds to accomodate pt's who needed telemetry. We were not required to read strips or anything--the pt was monitored on the cardiac floor by telemetry techs. We were required to call each shift and get a reading--the techs were required to alert us if anything abnormal was occuring--like a 6 beat run of V-tach or if the pt converted into A-fib etc. Seemed to work ok like that for us. Good Luck


Guest JeannieM

0 Posts

Interesting: I've been dealing with the remote telemetry issue at the hospital where I just started as a CNS. When I came, the med-surg nurses didn't know a-fib from SR from a hole in the ground; the tele was just a box hanging off of the patient. Many of them actually came to ME because they were concerned and wanted to learn more. At the least, I'm trying to have the med-surg nurses attend a basic EKG course, so they have some understanding of what the rhythms are and what they mean, and I make sure they have the opportunity to look at their strips; tele techs have been known to make mistakes! It's frustrating; a lot of the time, I feel like I'm asking too much. Too idealistic, I guess...


626 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Long Term Care.

We were informed at last month's staff meeting that we will be having a number of beds dedicated to telemetry on our 65 bed Med-Surg unit. Our hospital's telemetry unit lost around 8 beds to Maternity a year ago when that unit was expanded and are now down to only 20 beds or so.

As it stands right now, we've got ortho, renal, repiratory, post-op, oncology, peds and all things medical on our floor. They want us to be a "jack of all trades", master of none on our unit, it seems; I guess one can't complain about a lack of variety on our floor! :eek:

Where I used to work, Neuro floor got "x" number of tele beds. We read the strips. We'd get help from the CNS if it was really hairy figuring something out, but you get used to it.

They were really pushing their rep as a cardiac hospital, so they took the tele beds away and gave them to the tele floor. It worked okay for us - we all got a little bit more $$ for having taken the interpretation class.

Oh - well, the beds *were* supposed to be for neuro patients who also needed tele, but in real life, we got all the overflow tele patients. That also didn't bother me, as most of them were much easier to take care of than the neuro patients!




251 Posts

Specializes in medical/telemetry/IR.

With the Telemetry monitored pts there won't be no more finding the patient dead in the morning. You'll know right away.

I'm sorry I have a warped sense of humore. Guess I worked on the Telemetry floor too long. :eek:


656 Posts

I work in a specialized med-surg unit, which is also a tele unit for approximately 1/3 of our patients. Some of our specific post-op populations (carotids, aaa's, aortobifem's, etc) need to be monitored from a cardiac standpoints. Heck, we get our carotids from the PACU one evening, and they usually go home the next morning -- and do very well. It also gives me the flexibility to place a patient on a monitor if I'm questioning an arrythmia something rather than just do an ekg. Unfortunately, however, because of the tele part, our floor can be a dumping groupd for patient populations who would otherwise be on different floors.

All nurses are monitored trained and need to attend pretty in-depth classes regarding not just reading the arrythmia but what could be the causes, labs, what meds might be indicated, etc. The classes are held during orientation or right after orientation is completed. For me, it helps to piece the puzzle together for many of my patients.:roll :cool:

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