Q:

How do you read telemetry strips?

A:

According to Practical Clinical Skills, reading a telemetry strip, or an electrocardiogram, begins with understanding the events that a normal electrocardiogram tracing represents. Once a person has a good grasp of this concept, it is possible to move on to interpreting the heart rate and rhythm and detecting abnormalities. However, it takes time and a good deal of practice to perfect the technique.

Practical Clinical Skills explains that a normal EKG tracing represents the waveforms created by the electrical activity of the heart muscle as it beats one time. It begins with the "P" wave, which is normally deflected upward and represents atrial depolarization, the electrical event that initiates the beat. The "P" wave is followed by the QRS complex, which represents the depolarization and contraction of the left ventricle or the actual pumping action of the heart. It begins with the "Q" wave, which deflects downward and is followed by a large upward deflection, the "R" wave. The "R" wave is then followed by a larger downward deflection, the "S" wave and a small upward-deflected "T" wave, which represents repolarization or the heart's return to a resting state.

In some tracings, a last wave, known as the "U" wave, may be visible. This represents the recovery of specialized fibers within the heart muscle, known as the Purkinje fibers, which are responsible for synchronizing the heartbeat. The intervals between the various waveforms, their shape and their size are important indicators of how the heart muscle is functioning and a person's overall health, according to Practical Clinical Skills.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What is a handicapped bathroom grab bar?

    A:

    According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a handicapped bathroom bar, or grab bar, is a hand rail installed in handicapped accessible bathrooms to provide individuals with disabilities extra security to stabilize themselves in the bathroom. Grab bars are typically installed near a toilet or in the shower or tub.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How long does it take to get a mono test back?

    A:

    According to the Mayo Clinic, results for the monospot test, a typical blood test for mononucleosis, come back within a day. The test checks for the presence of antibodies to the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes infectious mononucleosis, the CDC reports.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How long does staph live on surfaces?

    A:

    The Fairfield Department of Health reports that staph bacteria can live on an object for up to 24 hours, making it important to wash commonly shared objects and surfaces regularly, especially when a known staph infection is present. Because many people carry staph bacteria, it is impossible to rid all instances of the bacteria. However, the Fairfield Department of Health advises that good hygiene can prevent the spread of the infection to others.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why should you stop drinking alcohol seven days before surgery?

    A:

    Doctors recommend that patients minimize drinking at least a week prior to surgery in order to reduce the risks of complications during and after surgery, according to Choose Help. Just two to three drinks per day increases the risk of infection as surgical wounds heal.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore