Cardiac pacing: principles, interventions and patient support
Intended for healthcare professionals

Cardiac pacing: principles, interventions and patient support

Kay Elliott Arrhythmia nurse specialist, Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Dorchester, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To refresh your knowledge of cardiac pacing principles and interventions

  • To understand the role of the nurse in the management of patients receiving cardiac pacing

  • To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD, or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

Cardiac pacing is used to treat a variety of heart rhythm irregularities or arrhythmias, most commonly bradyarrhythmia, which is characterised by an abnormally slow heart rate. Temporary and permanent pacemakers work by sending intermittent electric impulses to the heart muscle, stimulating it to contract and ensuring a steady heart rate. This article explains the various temporary and permanent cardiac pacing interventions, describes how pacemakers work, outlines the complications that can arise from their use and details the needs of patients in terms of information, support, monitoring and follow-up.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2022.e11881

Peer review

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


Conflict of interest

None declared

Elliott K (2022) Cardiac pacing: principles, interventions and patient support. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2022.e11881

Published online: 31 January 2022

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