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