A telemetry nurse is a certified registered nurse (RN) who has completed an official training program that teaches students how to use electrocardiogram (ECG) equipment to monitor patient’s heart conditions. The most popular nursing certifications are earned through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurse’s (AACN) organization.
Hospital telemetry units serve patients who are in critical condition and need constant care and monitoring. Telemetry nurses review data from ECQ equipment that tracks patient’s breathing, heart rates and blood pressure levels. While they also carry out traditional RN duties, such as administering medications and communicating with family members, the majority of their work is centered in telemetry units. These traditionally have hosted patients who have suffered heart attacks or are recovering from cardiac surgery, but telemetry units are now used to monitor patients with health disorders, such as insomnia or epilepsy. Since 24/7 monitoring is required for these patients, telemetry RNs often work long shifts during nights, weekends and holidays.
Telemetry nurses continually collect comprehensive data from specialized equipment that is pertinent to the patient’s health. They use evidence-based assessment techniques and instruments to collect and interpret data. However, they must balance the data collection activities with their patient’s immediate condition or anticipated needs. In order to holistically understand data, they must involve the patient’s family and other health care providers. During their shift, they analyze the patient’s assessment data, and then validate the diagnoses or any potential issues with the patient’s physician and other health care specialist. When it comes to planning, telemetry RNs must timely and accurately develop individualized care plans that establish treatment strategies and alternatives to expected outcomes.
In order to become a telemetry nurse, candidates must first earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing and obtain state licensure. After working as an RN with progressive care related duties, they will be qualified to apply to telemetry positions. A master of science in nursing is recommended for advanced practice nurses (APN) who specialize in unique fields. A graduate degree program will come with a curriculum full of specialized courses in advanced care practices, evidence-based research and cutting edge IT and equipment systems. Students will learn optimal care models and systems for cardiac patients, so they will be prepared to deliver high-value and effective care that is based on industry standards.
Employers expect that RNs who apply to telemetry positions will have industry standard certifications. The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses offers two of the most popular accreditation choices for nurses. First, the Progressive Care Nursing Certification (PCCN) certification is designed for nurses who provide constant bedside care for acutely ill patients. These progressive care nurses work in areas such as intermediate, transitional, direct observation and telemetry care units. Second, the Cardiac Medicine Certification(CMC) certification is reserved for nurses with nationally recognized nursing specialty certifications who want to specifically care for cardiac patients. These RNs typically work in ICU, CCU, telemetry, heart failure and cardiology units.
Related Resource: Nurse Practitioner
To wrap up, a telemetry nurse is an RN who cares for patients with cardiac issues through sophisticated monitoring equipment. Telemetry RNs are simultaneously responsible for multiple patients at one time, so they must have excellent prioritizing and multi-tasking abilities.