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Cardiac Arrhythmia Basic Interpretation: Training Course

Presented by: Carol Jacobson

Course Description:
This course provides the basic knowledge and skills needed to interpret cardiac arrhythmias in any setting and is appropriate for nurses, monitor technicians, and medical students. Content includes: principles of cardiac anatomy and physiology related to the origin and electrical activation of the heart during normal and abnormal cardiac rhythms, an organized 5-step approach to rhythm interpretation, descriptions of each cardiac rhythm with examples and practice strips to reinforce learning, practice sessions and homework related to each topic area. Pharmacologic and electrical therapy is included for rhythms requiring treatment. The emphasis in this course is on rhythm strip interpretation and appropriate treatment for life-threatening arrhythmias.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  1. Name the parts of the cardiac conduction system and state the function of each.
  2. Describe the origin of the electrical impulse and activation sequence through the heart for rhythms originating in the sinus node, atria, AV junction, and ventricles.
  3. Identify the following arrhythmias from rhythm strips:
    1. Sinus rhythms: normal sinus rhythm, sinus bradycardia, sinus tachycardia, sinus arrhythmia, sinus pause/arrest, sick sinus syndrome)
    2. Atrial rhythms: PACs (premature atrial complexes), WAP (wandering atrial pacemaker), MAT (multifocal atrial tachycardia), AT (atrial tachycardia), atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation, narrow-complex SVT (supraventricular tachycardia)
    3. Junctional rhythms: PJCs (premature junctional complexes), junctional rhythm, accelerated junctional rhythm, junctional tachycardia, junctional escape beats
    4. Ventricular rhythms: PVCs (premature ventricular complexes), idioventricular rhythm, accelerated idioventricular rhythm, VT (ventricular tachycardia), VF (ventricular fibrillation), ventricular escape beats, ventricular asystole
    5. AV (atrioventricular) blocks: first-degree AV block, second-degree AV block (Type I and Type II), high grade AV block, third-degree (complete) AV block
  4. Identify right bundle branch block (RBBB) and left bundle branch block (LBBB)
  5. Identify normal single chamber ventricular pacing and dual chamber pacing from selected rhythm strips.
  6. Evaluate atrial and ventricular pacemaker capture and sensing from selected rhythm strips.
  7. State appropriate pharmacological and/or electrical therapy for:
    1. Symptomatic bradycardia
    2. Stable and unstable SVT
    3. Stable and unstable VT (monomorphic and polymorphic)
    4. VF
    5. Asystole

Continuing Education:
14.50 hours of continuing education (contact hours) are offered with this program. CNEA is a provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, provider number 15714.

Technical Requirements:
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Course Price:
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