• To enhance your ability to support an adult with a learning disability to undergo an electrocardiogram (ECG)
• To recognise the importance of comprehensive preparation to ensure the procedure is successful
• To be aware of the various clinical reasons why an adult with a learning disability may require an ECG
Rationale and key points
An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a routine clinical investigation undertaken to diagnose and monitor heart conditions. ECGs are needed for the identification and ongoing management of a range of health issues commonly experienced by people with learning disabilities. Additionally, some people with learning disabilities will have been prescribed antipsychotics and will therefore require cardiac monitoring. People with learning disabilities may require additional support before, during and after undergoing an ECG. This article explains how to support an adult with a learning disability to undergo an ECG.
• The individual needs of the person should be investigated and reasonable adjustments put in place ahead of the procedure.
• Working with the person, their relative or carer and the clinician conducting the ECG increases the chances of a successful procedure.
• The ECG results should be shared with the person in a way that involves them in decision-making about their care.
‘How to’ articles can help you to update your practice and ensure it remains evidence-based. Apply this article to your practice. Reflect on, and write a short account of:
• How this article might improve your practice when supporting an adult with a learning disability to undergo an ECG.
• How you could use this information to educate nursing students or colleagues on the appropriate steps to follow when supporting an adult with a learning disability to undergo an ECG and the relevant evidence base.
Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2023.e2226Peer review
This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software
Brown M, McKenna N (2023) How to support an adult with a learning disability to undergo an electrocardiogram. Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2023.e2226Disclaimer
Please note that information provided by Learning Disability Practice is not sufficient to make the reader competent to perform the task. All clinical skills should be formally assessed according to policy and procedures. It is the nurse’s responsibility to ensure their practice remains up to date and reflects the latest evidence
Published online: 10 August 2023
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