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New grad on telemetry unit


Has 9 years experience.

Hi everyone! I'm about to start my first job, and was offered a position on a tele unit. When i interviewed, I actually wasn't sure what type of specialty I wanted, and I said I was interested in med-surg to get experience. They had a tele position available, and I am excited about it, though I'm a little nervous- I don't know how to read ECGs--do they expect you to know out of school or do they teach you? Also, if I decide to go to another specialty in a few years, do you think a tele unit gives you good preparation? Anything else I should know? Thanks!

I know most hospitals will offer a course as one of their educational credits. They are really more the overview type. But if you want more indepth... check your local community colleges with nursing programs or continuing education healthcare courses.

I know it looks foreign at first.. but just memorize the basic A & P of the heart and the values for ECGs... but most of all PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!! I just finished my course in july and I ask the monitor tech to print off random strips all throughout the night. Then I harass one of the more experienced tele nurses to check my strips. It has become a game they're calling "stump the newbie". But it really challenges me and I am learning, practicing, and learning from my mistakes.

But I am the type that grabs the bull by the horns and starts wrestlin! lol Just have faith in yourself... and utilize your resources. Check out the other thread about a new tele nurse and questions. Everyone put out great suggestions!

I am a new grad too and i just started on a tele unit about a month ago. It's very fast paced and so much to learn... very tough! The turn over is very high on our floor b/c of burn out and people starting out here to gain experience, then moving to ICU or ER. If your floor is anything like mine, i think it will prepare you for almost anything! The experience you will gain is amazing! Good Luck!


Specializes in Cardiac, home care, management. Has 8 years experience.

Take the time to sit in front of the telemetry with who ever is sitting at that moment in time. Don't be afraid to ask questions and just keep on looking at strips to try and figure out what is going on with the patient.

suzy253, RN

Specializes in Telemetry/Med Surg.

I'm a 1-year grad on a tele unit and we had to go for a two day course (in-house by the nurse-educators), take an exam and get certified. We have to print strips for our patients and interpret them. I love working tele. Very diverse. And often times I'll sit with the charge nurse to watch the monitors and see what's going on with varioous patients. You sure learn a lot!

al7139, ASN, RN

Specializes in Emergency. Has 5 years experience.

I am also a new RN on a tele unit. I really do love it. It is extremely challenging, but this experience will prepare you for almost any unit. Most hospitals offer a ECG interpretation course as part of the training. If you are like me, we got about 2 hours of ECG in school, and we were never tested on it or expected to really know it. At my hospital, I also spent a day in tele monitoring. The monitors were really helpful, and would print strips and quiz me on the rhythms. If they do not at least offer this to you, ask to do it as part of your orientation. As an RN on a tele floor you should at least be able to recognize the abnormals, and what to expect for treatment of them. If they do not offer training, there are some good interpretation books available. Also, get a pair of ECG calipers to help you measure.

Good luck!


deeDawntee, RN

Specializes in Travel Nursing, ICU, tele, etc. Has 12 years experience.

You made a very good choice IMHO to start out in telemetry. I transferred to ICU about 1 1/2 years ago and knowing telemetry, the rhythms and how to handle code situations were invaluable in going to ICU. That may be what you want to do next...ICU!

Get yourself an EKG book or go online, there are a lot of sites out there where you can learn a ton. The basic rhythms are not that difficult..and hopefully your hospital will send you to a class in the near future... you will love it!!


Specializes in Cardiac Surgery.


I'm a new grad too and I started working on a cardiac surgery floor in June.

I am currently reading "ECG Interpretation made Incredibly Easy". It's a very good book and i'm learning A LOT!!!!

hi. i know it has now been a couple month from when you posted this, but i am now in the situation that you were in. how are you liking it? how was the transition for you? I'll be starting on a telemetry unit in about a month (due to relocating) and I'm a bit nervous but mostly excited to start! I'd just like to get an idea of what i've gotten myself into! ha... any info on your experience will be appreciated.



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