Electrocardiogram (ECG):
Recording a Diagnostic Quality 12-Lead ECG

Video Learning Activity

  • Overview of Activity
  • Need/Aim for Activity
  • Method of Delivery
  • Requirements for Successful Completion
  • Accreditation Status
  • CPD/CNE Contact Hours
  • Cite this VLA

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This Video Learning Activity (VLA) will assist registered nurses to correctly record a diagnostic quality 12-Lead ECG. It describes how to care for the patient, where to place leads and how to record the ECG trace.

Topics include:

  • What an ECG does and what it records
  • Nursing responsibilities, preparation of the patient
  • Electrical waveforms
  • Lead views of the heart
  • Correct location of leads
  • Variations in electrode placement
  • Common potential problems
  • Types of interference
  • Standard 12-Lead ECG examples.

Target audience:

This VLA will be of interest to all nurses and midwives who are required to perform 12 lead ECGs.


The aim of this VLA is to offer nurses an opportunity to expand and consolidate professional knowledge and skills for recording a diagnostic quality 12-Lead ECG. By giving a step-by-step demonstration and discussing potential problems and approaches to minimise each, the viewer will be more confident to effectively and efficiently comprehend and perform this often confusing procedure.


Recording a 12 lead ECG is a common procedure for nurses working in both primary and secondary care settings when faced with individuals presenting with acute chest pain. It is an important part of risk assessment and is required for identifying the possible need for urgent interventions. However on researching the literature there is a scarcity of comprehensive and reliable information readily available to nurses, and in the clinical area the procedure is often not well taught or expertly performed.

Nurses in Australia, are required to obtain a minimum of 20 continuing professional development (CPD) hours each year that relates to their context of practice in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.

This educational Video Learning Activity (VLA) is presented in an engaging and convenient 'school-of-one' online delivery format. The format contains:

  1. An illustrated video lecture
  2. Time for self –evaluation involving Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and reflection on your practice and documenting this in your CPD Organiser or other CPD/CNE portfolio.
  3. Review of resource material including: links to online lectures of relevance and information regarding related conferences when available
  4. Evaluation survey
  5. This evaluation is designed to determine how your knowledge has been enhanced and strengthened by completing this VLA and to measure your satisfaction with the VLA.
  6. Certificate of completion

In order to finish this CPD activity and be awarded an Activity Completion Certificate, you will need to:

  • watch the video
  • achieve a 100% score in the test your learning questions
  • document your learning in your CPD Organiser or CPD/CNE portfolio
  • complete the evaluation of the VLA.
You can review the video and attempt the test your learning questions as often as necessary to achieve a 100% score, but it is important to demonstrate a high level of learning across all aspects of this topic and to ensure that all objectives have been achieved before completion.

0.5 Ausmed CPD hour(s).

0.5 contact hour(s) of continuing nursing education (CNE) for RNs and APNs.

Ausmed Education Learning Centre is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.
0.5 CPD/CNE hour(s), consisting of:
  • 20 minute (approx) illustrated video lecture
  • 20 minutes for self-evaluation using the test your learning questions, reflecting on your practice, documenting this in your CPD Organiser or other CPD/CNE portfolio and completion of the evaluation survey of the VLA.

Citing this Video Learning Activity

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