10 Hours | 30 Mins
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Cardiac Care: ECG Interpretation Made Easy Seminar

2 Day Seminar for All Nurses


Does your work require you to perform 12-lead ECGs? If so, this seminar will bring you up-to-date on this key component of a cardiac assessment. It includes:

  • How to prepare a patient for a 12-lead ECG
  • The correct lead placement and why it matters
  • A review of the relevant anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology that are key to cardiac function
  • Basic interpretation of a standard 12-lead ECG
  • How to recognise ECG changes that suggest acute cardiac injury
  • What life-threatening arrhythmias look like and the actions you should take

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Need for Program

ECGs are vital to the cardiac assessment of a patient. They are conducted in most clinical settings and the results are essential for the proper diagnosis and consequent management of a cardiac condition. Knowing how to perform an ECG, including preparing a patient, correctly placing the leads, and recognising changes is fundamental for the production of a high-quality diagnostic standard 12-lead ECG.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this seminar is to teach nurses how to correctly perform and interpret a high-quality diagnostic standard 12-lead ECG as part of an overall cardiac assessment.

Your Learning Outcomes

  1. Know normal cardiac function and electrophysiology, and how it applies to a cardiac assessment
  2. Prepare a patient and explain the reason for a recording of a diagnostic standard 12-lead ECG
  3. Apply basic principles of cardiac rhythm analysis to a rhythm strip and correctly identify normal and abnormal cardiac rhythms
  4. Recognise life-threatening arrhythmias and acute ECG changes to know when to initiate immediate nursing actions
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Day One

8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


Needs Analysis and Introduction to the Program

This introductory session will set the scene for the two-day program. The pre-test will offer you an opportunity to self-evaluate your current level of knowledge and identify areas for special review during the day. Common terminology used in cardiac medicine will also be reviewed at this stage. This session includes:

  • A pretest and electrophysiology terminology review
  • The assessment of cardiac function – mechanical and electrical
  • A review of cardiac anatomy and physiology

10:00am - Morning Tea


Introduction to Electrophysiology

The electrical activity of the heart is a fascinating yet complex aspect of human physiology. A working knowledge of cardiac electrophysiology is essential to understand the basics of ECGs and cardiac rhythms. We will look at:

  • Recording and interpreting cardiac electrical activity
  • Significance of ECG waveforms and intervals
  • Practice of the interpretation of normal sinus rhythm


Recording a 12-Lead ECG

The role and place of ECGs in the diagnosis of cardiac disease is unquestionable. Correctly recording an ECG is an important nursing skill and the correct placement and attachment of leads is crucial. This session will clearly explain nursing responsibilities and the process involved in recording a diagnostic quality ECG. Explore:

  • Why ECGs are recorded and what information can they provide?
  • What is the correct placement of lead V4R?
  • When should a filter be used and what is calibration? What is interference and how can it be eliminated?
  • What is the criteria for recording a diagnostic standard ECG?

12:30pm - Lunch and Networking


Simplifying 12-Lead ECG Interpretation

In this session, you will learn the basics of ECG interpretation, with specific emphasis on the patient with chest pain. How are the ten attached lead wires utilised to record 12-lead views of the left ventricle and which leads look at specific areas of the heart? What ECG changes are seen with common cardiac disorders – including myocardial ischaemia, injury, and acute infarction (ACS) – and which require urgent interventions? This session looks at:

  • How to approach an analysis of a 12-lead ECG
  • Lead views of the heart – standard and other optional lead recordings
  • The ECG changes that indicate myocardial ischaemia, injury, or infarction (ACS) in the patient with chest pain
  • The changes that need to be reported urgently

2:30pm - Afternoon Tea


Recognition of Other ECG Changes

The final session will review and reflect on what has been learned so far. As well, there will be a discussion of the professional implications for nurses who record ECGs as part of their scope of practice. Review:

  • 12-lead ECG changes
  • Professional and legal nursing responsibilities in relation to ECG recording and in recognising and reporting ECG changes
  • Pretest and summary

4:00pm - Close of Day One of Seminar

Day Two

9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


Introduction and Needs Analysis

Nurses are expected to have a sound understanding of the normal rhythm of the heart – sinus rhythm. We will review your scope of practice with regard to recognition and management of arrhythmias. Whether you are involved in initiating cardiac monitoring or just want to be able to interpret the rhythm strip at the bottom of the 12-lead ECG tracing, this session will assist you. It includes:

  • A pretest to identify your current knowledge level
  • Discussion about the role of the nurse in interpreting arrhythmias


  • Assessment of cardiac function
  • Cardiac electrophysiology
  • Identifying criteria for sinus rhythms
  • Practice rhythms for analysis

10:00am - Morning Tea


A Simple Approach to Arrhythmia Interpretation

Interpreting abnormal heart rhythms is often considered to be difficult and is primarily the role of experienced nurses who work in special care areas such as CCU or ICU. This session will introduce a simple approach to arrhythmia interpretation that can be used by all nurses, regardless of their workplace. It will enable them to confidently communicate and document abnormal rhythms using appropriate and commonly accepted terminology. This session includes:

  • An introduction to arrhythmia terminology
  • The common causes of arrhythmia to help identify patients at risk of arrhythmias
  • The physiological effects of arrhythmias and the importance of clinical assessment to determine the urgency of treatment required
  • A simple approach to categorising arrhythmias


Arrhythmias with a Fast Rate – Tachyarrhythmias

Tachyarrhythmias occur commonly – both in young healthy persons and in those with acute or chronic cardiac disorders. This session will describe what happens to the heart when tachyarrhythmias occur; and will explore where they may originate, how to recognise the different rhythms, and the possible management options. Topics include:

  • An introduction to tachyarrhythmias
  • The effect tachyarrhythmias may they have on cardiac output /circulation
  • Differentiating between life-threatening and non-life-threatening tachyarrhythmias
  • Management options – drugs, manual techniques, and defibrillation
  • Rhythm interpretation practice

12:30pm - Lunch and Networking



Bradyarrhythmias can occur for a variety of reasons in those with cardiac disorders and in others who are healthy. Why do some individuals have a normal slow pulse that has no effect on their cardiac output/circulation when others rapidly become symptomatic at similar rates? This session will explore the origin, causes, effects, and management of bradyarrhythmias. Topics include:

  • An introduction to bradyarrhythmias
  • Can they be life-threatening? – Possible causes and effects
  • Management options – drugs, manual techniques, pacing
  • Rhythm interpretation practice

2:30pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


Questions and Practice Scenarios

We will finish by putting your new knowledge into practice – a number of clinical scenarios will be posed where you can identify the arrhythmia, consider nursing and medical treatment indicated, and summarise nursing responsibilities. It includes:

  • A group review of patient scenarios
  • An overview of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias – cardiac arrest
  • The BLS/ALS guidelines and role of the ARC

4:30pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations



Cardiac Care: ECG Interpretation Made Easy 2020 (One)

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