Pocket ECGs for Nurses  book cover
1st Edition

Pocket ECGs for Nurses

ISBN 9781498705936
Published November 26, 2015 by Routledge
268 Pages 92 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

The ECG is one of the most commonly used investigations in contemporary medicine. Interpretation of the ECG can appear daunting, but it is actually relatively straightforward as long as a systematic approach is taken.

Pocket ECGs for Nurses assists with this task by providing a detailed yet readable introduction to ECG interpretation, supplemented by clinical information about how to act based on its findings.

The book begins by covering the basics of cardiac anatomy and physiology and how these relate to the ECG. It then guides nurses on how to perform a high-quality ECG recording, interpret it and make sense of common ECG abnormalities. The book also includes a guide to ambulatory and bedside monitoring as well as useful chapter summaries.

This pocketbook is an essential reference for the non-specialist who needs to be able to record and perform a basic and safe interpretation of an ECG. Written in plain language with clear explanations, bullet lists and summaries throughout, this handy guide will benefit nurses as well as paramedics and other allied health professionals in recording and reading ECGs.

Table of Contents

The Basics of the Heartbeat
The Heart Chambers
The Heart’s Myocytes
Anatomy of the Electrical System
Further Reading

The Basics of the ECG
ECG Leads
The Names of the ECG Waves
Normal Values
QRS (‘Cardiac’) Axis
Abnormal Cardiac Axis
Further Reading

How to Record a 12-Lead ECG
Initial Preparations
Skin Preparation
Electrode Placement
Special Electrode Positions
Recording the 12-Lead ECG
After Making the Recording
Further Reading

How to Read a 12-Lead ECG
Patient Data
Clinical Data
Technical Data
ECG Fundamentals
ECG Details
Clinical Summary
Further Reading

Heart Rate: Bradycardia and Tachycardia
Method 1: Counting Large Squares
Method 2: Counting Small Squares
Method 3: Counting QRS Complexes
P Wave Rate
Bradycardia and Tachycardia
Further Reading

An Approach to Heart Rhythms
Identifying the Cardiac Rhythm
Determining the Cardiac Rhythm
Further Reading

Supraventricular Rhythms
Sinus Rhythm
Sinus Arrhythmia
Sinus Bradycardia
Sinus Tachycardia
Sick Sinus Syndrome
Atrial Ectopic Beats
Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial Flutter
Atrial Tachycardia
AV Re-Entry Tachycardia
AV Nodal Re-Entry Tachycardia
Further Reading

Ventricular Rhythms
Ventricular Ectopic Beats
Accelerated Idioventricular Rhythm
Monomorphic Ventricular Tachycardia
Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia
Ventricular Fibrillation
Further Reading

Conduction Problems and Types of Block
Conduction Problems at the SA Node
Conduction Problems at the AV Node
Block at the Bundle Branches
Block at the Fascicles
Escape Rhythms
Further Reading

QRS Complexes and Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
Q Wave
Tall QRS Complexes
Small QRS Complexes
Broad QRS Complexes
Further Reading

ST Segment Elevation and Depression
Assessing the ST Segment
ST Segment Elevation
ST Segment Depression
Further Reading

T Wave Changes
Tall Upright T Waves
Small T Waves
Inverted T Waves
Further Reading

QT Interval Prolongation
What Is the QT Interval?
Measuring the QT Interval
‘Correcting’ the QT Interval
What Is a Normal QTC Interval?
Risks of a Long QT Interval
Causes of a Long QT Interval
Treatment of a Long QT Interval
Further Reading

Bedside and Ambulatory Monitoring
Inpatient ECG Monitoring
Outpatient ECG Monitoring
The Future of ECG Monitoring
Further Reading

Summary of Key Points
Basics of the Heartbeat
Basics of the ECG
How to Record a 12-Lead ECG
How to Read a 12-Lead ECG
Heart Rate: Tachycardia and Bradycardia
Approach to Heart Rhythms
Supraventricular Rhythms
Ventricular Rhythms
Conduction Problems and Types of Block
QRS Complexes and Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
ST Segment Elevation and Depression
T Wave Changes
QT Interval Prolongation
Bedside and Ambulatory Monitoring

Appendix A: ECG Resources

Appendix B: Help with the Next Edition

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Andrew R. Houghton, MA (Oxon.), DM, FRCP (London), FESC, consultant cardiologist & deputy director of medical education, Grantham and District Hospital, UK

Alun Roebuck, MSc, PGCRM, BA, Dip NS, Dip ST, RN, NFESC, consultant nurse in cardiology/associate chief nurse, Lincolnshire Heart Centre, Lincoln County Hospital, UK


"The purpose is to provide nurses with a detailed yet easily understandable book that may be readily accessed. The book provides a convenient reference thatwould be available for everyday use… The book discusses obtaining an ECG, the basics of ECG interpretation, andreviews dysrhythmias including supraventricular, ventricular, blocks, hypertrophies, and changes seen with an MI." - Gina M. Oliver, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, CNE(MU Sinclair School of Nursing), Doody's Book Review Service