Rhythm Analysis

by heaverboo heaverboo Member

Specializes in Orthopedics. Has 6 years experience.

I just started a job on a step down unit which all patients are on monitors. I'm about to start my arrhythmia class but wondering how in the world am I going to learn everything? It seems very complicated and looks overwhelming. How long did it take everyone to feel comfortable looking at the monitor and knowing your patients status?



Specializes in Pulmonary, MICU. Has 5 years experience. 264 Posts

Basic EKG interp is soooo easy. Don't even worry. At the end of your class you'll have it. Realistically, there are only a couple of rhythms that you really have to worry about..most of the rhythms you will learn are benign.



172 Posts

buy a rhythm interpretation book...practice...



Specializes in Telemetry, ICU, Resource Pool, Dialysis. Has 11 years experience. 1,060 Posts

Give yourself some time. If you have some good monitor techs, learn from them - they've seen everything!


Lacie, BSN, RN

Specializes in jack of all trades. 1,037 Posts

Like anything it takes time and practice. Find a good interpertation workbook also. I started out in CCU/ICU and before long I was seeing them in my sleep. You'll be a pro in no time. Ask the monitor techs to save you strips of various rhythms and attempt to interpret them yourself for practice. It may seem intimidating at first but it does become easier in time.


rnffemtguy, BSN, RN

Specializes in EMS, ER. 78 Posts

Try "ECG Interpretation Made Incredibly Easy!", it's a good book that I learned alot out of, and used it to teach our EMT's. Widely available, got mine in Barnes & Noble but it's also available on sites like amazon.com


Dalzac, LPN, LVN, RN

Specializes in CCU,ICU,ER retired. 697 Posts

I loved interpretation so I was a quick study and soaked it up like a dry sponge on water. Alot of time the unit will havea EKG book but buying a study guide helps a lot. To me it was like working out puzzles. I went to work for a cardiologist just to learn more advanced rhythms I loved it

Anisettes, BSN, RN

Specializes in ED, OR, SAF, Corrections. Has 26 years experience. 235 Posts

Another great book I used back in the last ice age (but still great) is "Rapid Interpretation of EKGs" by Dale Dubin - literally like a child's primer, but if you start at page one and LEARN it, everything else is built on the lesson before it and you'll KNOW the information rather than having to MEMORIZE it. He also has a website (ostensibly to sell his book) but which has some info and the cheatsheets in the back of his book are posted online (you can download as pdf), you even if you don't get his book, his cheatsheets are posted at

There are also a couple of sites that have simulators where you can practice online

Best of luck

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