11h CPDSeminar

Cardiac Care: ECG Interpretation Made Easy Seminar

Two-Day Seminar for All Nurses


21 - 22 Jun 2021
The Lakes Resort Hotel Adelaide
141 Brebner Drive
West Lakes SA5021

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Why Attend

Heart rhythm disturbances are a common cause of hospital and clinic presentations. Do you feel confident in interpreting basic cardiac rhythms and recognising ECG changes? ECGs are performed daily for a variety of reasons in all areas of health care. Is it time you had a refresher? If so, then these two highly evaluated study days are for you. This seminar will bring you up-to-date and refresh your knowledge on this key component of a cardiac assessment. It includes:

  • A brief review of the relevant anatomy, physiology, electrophysiology, and pathophysiology
  • Preparation for and recording of a high-quality ECG
  • Basic interpretation of a standard 12-lead ECG
  • Recognition of ECG changes that suggest acute ischaemia or cardiac injury
  • Interpretation of common cardiac arrhythmias and their potential effects on the person’s cardiac output
  • Identification of life-threatening arrhythmias and their early management

Gain knowledge and confidence to apply these skills to your practice immediately. Book now!

Need for Program

The leading cause of death and disease burden in Australia is coronary heart disease (CHD). According to the latest AIHW statistics, there are approximately 170 acute coronary events every day in Australia. Correct interpretation of the ECG is crucial in the early diagnosis, management, and outcomes for a patient suspected of having an acute cardiac event. Therefore, it is vital that nurses have the skills to correctly perform an ECG and cardiac monitoring and have the basic skills required to interpret the 12-lead ECG and common cardiac arrhythmias. As acute cardiac events and life-threatening arrhythmias can occur in any healthcare setting the above are essential skills for all nurses.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this seminar is to provide all nurses with an opportunity to learn how to perform and interpret a high-quality diagnostic standard 12-lead ECG and common cardiac arrhythmias 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 recording a diagnostic standard 12-lead ECG
  3. Apply basic principles of ECG interpretation to a 12 and 13-lead ECG and correctly identify normal and abnormal ECGs
  4. Recognise acute ECG changes and their significance, initiate timely nursing interventions, and briefly discuss acute management


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:

  • Pre-test and electrophysiology terminology review
  • Assessment of cardiac function – mechanical and electrical
  • Review of cardiac anatomy and physiology

10:00am - Morning Tea and Coffee


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 are crucial. This session will clearly explain nursing responsibilities and the process involved in recording a diagnostic quality ECG. It includes:

  • Why are ECGs recorded and what information can they provide?
  • 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?


Electrophysiology Interpretation

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

  • How to record and interpret cardiac electrical activity
  • The significance of ECG waveforms and intervals

12:00pm - Lunch Break 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 includes:

  • 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 placement of lead V4R – what it tells us and when we need to do it

2:30pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


Recognition of Other ECG Changes

This 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:

  • The changes that need to be reported urgently and why
  • The professional and legal nursing responsibilities in relation to ECG recording and in recognising and reporting ECG changes
  • 12-lead ECG changes
  • Pre-test and summary

4:30pm - 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 pre-test 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 and Coffee


A Simple Approach to Arrhythmia Interpretation

Interpreting abnormal heart rhythms is often considered to be difficult and is primarily the role of experienced nurses working 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 Break



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

educator image

Joanne Reading

Joanne Reading is a clinical educator within the 42-bed ICU at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, which also services critically ill patients from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the Royal Women’s Hospital. Joanne holds a critical care graduate certificate and a master of health science with a focus on education. She is also the author of her own nursing education website called 'Blogging for your Noggin'. With a special interest in all things cardiac and respiratory. Joanne is passionate about ensuring that education not only fosters critical thinking but is entertaining in the process! Read More
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