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how to tell P wave from T wave on EKG?

Nurses   (4,819 Views 7 Comments)
by notyetnurse notyetnurse (Member) Member

4,056 Profile Views; 58 Posts

Good morning all,

Taking a very intense program to transition to the RN role in the next 6 weeks and a big part of this is EKG. We did cover some of this in school but not extensively and it may sound funny but I am having a hard time differing between P waves and T waves on the EKG. I see where the normal placement is for the P wave but sometimes they come early, etc and I often see P waves when there aren't any. Googling hasn't helped much.

Any suggestions for distinguishing what the true p waves are??

Thanks,

Heather

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RN_EMT specializes in Emergency, pediatrics.

35 Posts; 878 Profile Views

Talking from the conductive stand point, P is before the QRS and a T is after the QRS. P is atrial contraction, QRS is ventricle contraction, and T is ventricle refilling. Therefore P's are smaller since atriums are smaller and the QRS/T waves are larger since ventricles are larger. The only u don't see is atrial refilling since it's "hidden in the back of the QRS because a QRS has a stronger contraction.

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58 Posts; 4,056 Profile Views

Thank you to all, love the heart block poem and the website suggestion plus general input. Much appreciated!

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AJJKRN has 6+ years experience and specializes in Medical-Surgical/Float Pool/Stepdown.

1,224 Posts; 21,082 Profile Views

Honestly, because I was cross-trained as a cardiac monitor tech while working as a CNA during nursing school, I personally think one of the best ways to get comfortable and commit rhythms to memory is to take a ECG book and just go through and do all the strips. (after reading it of course) Expect some backtracking with applying the book strips to "live" strips running across the monitor. Now I can pretty much glance at a running rhythm and know what it is and I do not consider myself a cardiac nurse! Good luck!

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