10h 30m CPDSeminar

Cardiac Care: ECG Interpretation Made Easy Seminar

Two-Day Seminar for All Nurses


10 - 11 Feb 2020
Hotel Ibis Brisbane
27 - 35 Turbot Street
Brisbane QLD4000

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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
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Day One

8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


Needs Analysis and Introduction to the Program

This introductory session provides an opportunity for you to revise the foundational knowledge and understanding required for basic interpretation of ECGs and cardiac arrhythmias, as well as the assessment of a person’s cardiac output. It includes:

  • A brief revision of cardiac anatomy and physiology
  • Assessing cardiac output – mechanical function of the heart
  • Assessing cardiac electrical function
  • Electrophysiology terminology
  • The significance of ECG waveforms and intervals
  • Criteria for sinus rhythm

10:00am - Morning Tea


Recording a 12-Lead ECG

The ECG is the most common diagnostic tool used in health care, and it is a vital component in decisions on patient management. This session will clearly explain nursing responsibilities and the process involved in recording a diagnostic quality ECG. It will explore:

  • Why ECGs are recorded, and the information they can provide
  • Correct placement, including lead V4R
  • The significance of ECG machine settings, such as filter and calibration
  • An explanation of interference and how can it be eliminated
  • The criteria for recording a diagnostic standard ECG


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. What ECG changes are seen with common cardiac disorders, including myocardial ischaemia, injury, and acute infarction (ACS), and which require urgent interventions? As well, there will be a discussion of the professional implications for nurses who record ECGs as part of their scope of practice. 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/discomfort
  • The placement of lead V4R – what it tells us and when we need to record it
  • The professional and legal nursing responsibilities in relation to ECG recording and in recognising and reporting ECG changes

12:30pm - Lunch and Networking


Increasing Your Knowledge of ECG Interpretation

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? In this session, we will look at the significance of changes in lead aVR in:

  • Relating the leads recorded to surface areas and coronary arteries involved
  • ST elevation in aVR
  • Practice ECG interpretation
  • Review ECG interpretation and relate to possible patient presentation and management

2:30pm - Afternoon Tea


Recognition of Bundle Branch Blocks

A large number of people in the community have a chronic bundle branch block pattern on their ECG. A left bundle branch block (LBBB) pattern can cause difficulties in the interpretation of the ECG of a person presenting with an acute cardiac episode. This session will provide you with the skills to identify right and left BBBs on the ECG and includes:

  • The significance of BBBs
  • Differentiation between changes indicating right and left BBBs
  • Practice interpretation of BBBs on a 12-lead ECG



This final session will review and reflect on what has been learned so far. We will review:

  • The changes that need to be reported urgently and why
  • Differentiation between 12-lead ECG changes indicating STEMI and NSTEMI or ACS
  • Bundle branch blocks

4:30pm - Close of Day One of Seminar

Day Two

9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


Introduction and Needs Analysis

There is an expectation that nurses in all healthcare settings have a sound understanding of the normal rhythm of the heart – sinus rhythm – and are able to recognise life-threatening arrhythmias and implement appropriate action. In this session, we will review your role and scope of practice with regard to recognition and management of arrhythmias. Whether you are involved in initiating cardiac monitoring or 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 interpretation of sinus rhythm and arrhythmias
  • Terminology used in documenting arrhythmias
  • Common causes of arrhythmias to help identify patients at risk

10:00am - Morning Tea


A Simple Approach to Arrhythmia Interpretation

Interpreting abnormal heart rhythms is often considered to be difficult, and it is primarily the role of experienced nurses who work in special 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. This session includes:

  • A review of the factors affecting cardiac output
  • The physiological effects of arrhythmias and the importance of clinical assessment to determine the urgency of treatment required
  • General management for a patient with a cardiac arrhythmia
  • A simple approach to categorising arrhythmias
  • Differentiating between atrial and ventricular ectopics


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, differentiating between regular and irregular, as well as narrow and wide tachyarrhythmias, to explore where they may originate and 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
  • A practice of rhythm interpretation, including management options

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 – pharmacological, manual techniques, electrical pacing
  • Rhythm interpretation practice

2:30pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


Questions and Practice Scenarios

It is important for nurses in all healthcare settings to be able to recognise life-threatening arrhythmias and implement appropriate action. This session will provide the opportunity to develop this knowledge. 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 the nursing and medical treatment indicated, and summarise the nursing responsibilities. It includes:

  • Life-threatening arrhythmia situations
  • A group review and discussion on patient scenarios that include patient assessment, rhythm interpretation, and management
  • The BLS/ALS guidelines and role of the ARC, ANZCOR, and ILCOR



This session will review and reinforce your learning about cardiac arrhythmias. It includes:

  • Changes and abnormalities in the waveforms and intervals and what they indicate
  • Signs and symptoms that indicate cardiac output is being affected by a cardiac arrhythmia
  • Management options for tachyarrhythmias and bradyarrhythmias

4:30pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations

educator image

Freda Fischer

Freda Fischer is a registered nurse with 20 years working clinically in a variety of intensive care and cardiac units. Since then she has had extensive experience as a nurse educator developing and teaching in programs for critical care, cardiac care and resuscitation, both in Australia and Singapore. Recently she has worked as a Clinical Lecturer, tutor, trainer and assessor, and maintains a special interest in all aspects of cardiac nursing and resuscitation. Freda has a Master of Education and Post Graduate Certificate in Clinical Practice (Cardiac) Read More

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Events in other locations

10 - 11 Feb 2020
Hotel Ibis Brisbane
27 - 35 Turbot Street
Brisbane, QLD, 4000
16 - 17 Mar 2020
Rydges Sydney Central
28 Albion Street
Surry Hills, NSW, 2010
Cardiac Care: ECG Interpretation Made Easy 2020 (One)