New Nurse (LPN) with no EKG exp. HELP!


Hello, everyone! I graduated from LPN school in August and am working at an urgent care clinic....just got the job actually. I am struggling to keep up with the skills of the older nurses, but am surviving. The only thing we did not do in nursing school that I know COMPLETELY nothing about is how to do a where to place the leads. (12 lead). i have searched the internet and cannot find a clear answer. Does anyone have any pointers or could direct me to a website address that could show me?? I really like my job and don't want to be called upon one day and go "Uggggggggggg, hold on" know! That's not good.

Anyway, thanks for all your help in advance. This site is great! :w00t:

I checked out the websites in your reply and it is all about interpretation....not placement. Sad thing is, we learned all about the different rhythms and what they look like on a strip, but I couldn't tell you how to do one!

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

7 Articles; 5,163 Posts

Specializes in Utilization Management.

Oh, sorry about that~

Here's an excellent video and a couple of pictures:




80 Posts

Specializes in Geriatric, Medical/Surgical.

Our machine has a picture right on it telling you where to place the leads, and everything is labeled. Someone showed me how to do it once, and I've been doing them since, and noone has complained about the way they are done yet!

They are really pretty easy...just ask someone to show you a couple of times. I know that noone was shocked that I didn't know how!


328 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

i copied the picture onto an index card, and kept that in my pocket for the first few i did - some machines have the diagrams, which is awesome, but i worked with one that didn't, so the index card i made came in handy

Thanks sooo much for all the responses! I feel much better about it now. I like the index card idea too!


328 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

i use index cards for everything - all through nursing school, through orientation and even now for report, or quick notes (and come to think of it, even in my house for random things)

i'm thankful to the person who invented them to begin with. lol;)

Yeah, I used them a lot too. I don't know why I didn't think of that. Anyway, I think I've got the placement down path, but what about the colors?? Does the colors matter?? Nothing was said about the colors on the video. Any ideas??

Achoo!, LPN

1,749 Posts

Specializes in Urgent Care.

There should be an instruction manual for the specific machine you are using, more than likely attached somewhere to it.. Maybe you can copy that and put it on an index card. You'll do a few and no longer need it I'm sure :)


2 Posts

Im sorry but i dont waqnt to soubnd like a right old git, but pls dont tell me you jsut put the stickers in an approximate position, i hope that whoever undertakes doing an ECG understands the importance of correct lead postitioning and how an incorect postion (even by 1 cm) can effect the ECG and ultimatly the treatment of a petient, the most likely result of poor lead placement would be none treatment of an acute MI, and yes it is that important. Sorry if that wasa rant i just had to get it off my chest.

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