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need help with heart arrhythmias

Hiya everyone,

Hopefully someone can give me a website for the different cardiac arrhythmias (eg atrial fibrillation,third degree av block, etc) and the different meds. that are usually prescribed. We haven't had pharmacology yet but since there is mention of antiarrhythmic drugs and such in the chapter we need to be familiar with the drugs. I have read the chapters twice already and still am having trouble with putting the two and two together to figure this out. Also, if anyone has a mnemonic to remember them....that would be appreciated too....thanks in advance

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Has 40 years experience. Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

not sure whether you are asking for help with ekg interpretation as well. here are some links:

http://learn.sdstate.edu/nursing/ecg.htm - cardiac arrhythmias. a 66-page slide show presentation from dr. gloria craig at south dakota state university school of nursing. this is a very nice, simple explanation of the ekg with corresponding egk tracings. there are animations of the electrical conduction pathway for the various arrhythmias to help show what is going on to create the ekg tracing you see on paper. this is a very nice tutorial that addresses the normal sinus rhythm, sinus bradycardia and tachycardia, premature atrial contractions,atrial tachycardia, atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation, premature junctional contractions, junctional tachycardia, first, second and third degree blocks, premature ventricular contractions (pvcs), ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation and asystole.

http://www.gwc.maricopa.edu/class/bio202/cyberheart/cardio.htm - - cyberheart from professor crimando at gateway community college in phoenix, az. ekg review and an animated heart quiz.

http://students.med.nyu.edu/erclub/ekgexpl0.html - here is a short tutorial on how to read an ekg. click on the arrows at the bottom of each page to continue through the tutorial.

http://www.kauaicc.hawaii.edu/nursing/ekg/tutorial/tutorial.htm ekg interpretation for healthcare professionals from kaua'i community college nursing school

http://www.kauaicc.hawaii.edu/nursing/ekg/tutorial/lytes.htm - electrolyte and medications: effect on ekgs from kaua'i community college nursing school is just one section from the above site

http://www.nursewise.com/courses/crit_cvdrugs_hour.htm - drugs used in cardiology care written by a nurse for nurses

http://www.hoslink.com/heart/af.htm#flutter - this site will tell you all about atrial fib/flutter and the drugs used to treat it

http://md-do.org/files/physical/ekg.doc - from medical students. more than you'd ever want to know about ekgs and reading strips

http://rnbob.tripod.com/#section_3_cardiology_in_critical_care - section 3 of this website, nurse bob's micu/ccu survival guide, will help you identify all whole bunch of different rhythms and arrhythmias. nice clear rhythm strips are posted here. the site also covers a host of icu procedures, an extensive section on critical medications organized by categories, fluids and electrolytes, shock, and more!

http://learn.sdstate.edu/craigg/coutput.html - this is a concept map that shows the drugs used to treat problems with cardiac output. addresses heart rate, stroke volume, preload, afterload and contractility.

Thank you all for your help....:idea:

There is no easy way to learn this stuff. You are going to have to get down and dirty with the material and really LEARN it because it is going to come back at you big time when you get into your cardio rotation.

The good news is that for nursing school you will only need to learn the most common dysrhythmias: 1st, second, and third degree blocks, the dangerous tachy arrythmias (mostly A fib, V-fib, V-tach, and Torsade), and the dangerous brady arrythmias. It is important to understand the basic concept of the eletrophysiology because when you do, just from taking a quick glance at a strip you will have a good idea of what's going on with the patient, even if the patient is completely asymptomatic. For instance, how wide or how narrow the QRS complex is, are there frequent early or late beats, are there missing or multiple P waves to each QRS complex, the importance of ST elevations versus ST depressions, etc.

I was bewildered by all this stuff when I first saw it in nursing school. I also used a bunch of different websites and they confused me more than anything else. The best way to learn this material is to get yourself a caliper and borrow an ACLS book from the library. Read through the book slowly and practice measuring out the strips for each of the most common type of arrhythmias. Then read up the treatment protocols as you go along. If you take a little time to study and practice it you can learn it pretty well in only a few weeks.

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