ECG: Clinical Focus

The Scope of the Problem

Electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring is no longer isolated to critical care units. In today's hospitals, ECG monitoring technology is utilized throughout the healthcare facility on progressive care units, medical telemetry units, pediatric stepdown units, long-term acute care units and high risk obstetric units. It is a vital component of the care provided by acute and critical care nurses and provides us with an enormous amount of clinical information about acute and critically ill patients.

As a result of technological advances in bedside monitoring, the need for human oversight to interpret ECG monitoring data is more important than ever before. From analyzing alarms to determine their validity, to ST segment monitoring to detect early myocardial ischemia, developing an expertise in ECG interpretation is a key contribution of acute and critical care nurses today.

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Source: AACN Certification and Core Review for High Acuity and Critical Care, 6th Edition

Reference

Drew BJ, Califf RM, Funk M, et al. Practice standards for electrocardiographic monitoring in hospital settings: an American Heart Association scientific statement from the Councils on Cardiovascular Nursing, Clinical Cardiology, and Cardiovascular Disease in the Young: endorsed by the International Society of Computerized Electrocardiology and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Circulation. 2004; 110: 2721-2746.