Electrocardiograms: a guide to rhythm recognition for emergency nurses
evidence and practice    

Electrocardiograms: a guide to rhythm recognition for emergency nurses

Anthony McGrath Head of department, Adult Nursing and Midwifery, London South Bank University, England
Michael Sampson Arrhythmia nurse specialist, British Heart Foundation, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and senior lecturer, Adult Nursing and Midwifery, London South Bank University, England

Electrocardiogram (ECG) is one of the most commonly performed investigations in emergency departments (EDs), and is an extremely useful adjunct that guides diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. In most cases nurses are the first healthcare professional to assess patients and record an ECG, yet anecdotal evidence suggests that few emergency nurses review, interpret and act on ECG findings. Research suggests this may be due to lack of confidence in, or knowledge about, interpretation of results, often because of inadequate training. This article aims to help emergency nurses understand and interpret the cardiac rhythms commonly encountered on ECGs in EDs, to enable them to support earlier diagnosis and treatment. It describes a simple, five-step method for evaluating the main components of cardiac rhythm.

Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2018.e1767

Citation

McGrath A, Sampson M (2018) Electrocardiograms: a guide to rhythm recognition for emergency nurses. Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2018.e1767

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

mcgrata2@lsbu.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 01 May 2018

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