11h CPDSeminar

Cardiac Care: ECG Interpretation Made Easy Seminar

Two-Day Seminar for All Nurses


23 - 24 Mar 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


Day One

8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


Review of Cardiac Anatomy and Physiology

This introductory session will set the scene for the two-day program. It will rapidly refresh and review your knowledge of:

  • Cardiac Anatomy and Physiology
  • Cardiac Assessment: Clinical and Electrical
  • Action potential and other electrophysiology terminology

10:00am - Morning Tea


Introduction to Electrophysiology

In order to interpret electrocardiograms (ECGs), it is essential that you understand the underlying electrophysiology and conductive mechanisms of the heart and how they impact on the heart's function. This session will explain:

  • Einthoven’s triangle and the 12 lead ECG
  • Basic principles of Electrophysiology
  • The various ECG waveforms and intervals and the criteria for normality of each
  • ECG vectors and basic axis determination


Recording a 12-lead ECG

The Role and place of ECG’s 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 the nursing responsibilities and the process involved in recording a diagnostic quality ECG.

  • Correct lead placement
  • Calibration sign and use of filters
  • What are Artefacts, and how can they be eliminated?
  • When should lead placement be adjusted?
  • 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 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


Final review and practice session:

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:

  • Review of the Normal 12 Lead ECG
  • Criteria for normality of each of the 12 leads
  • Practicing your interpretation skills

4:30pm - Close of Day One of Seminar

Day Two

9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


Introduction and Review of Day One

Nurses are expected to have a sound understanding of the normal rhythm of the heart – sinus rhythm. 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:


  • 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
  • A simple approach to categorising arrhythmias
  • The common causes of arrhythmias 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


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

educator image

Sue de Muelenaere

Sue de Muelenaere is a registered nurse with more than 20 years’ experience as a nurse educator. Sue completed a five-year bachelor of nursing degree in South Africa, which included training in psychiatric and community nursing and midwifery. Since then, Sue has worked extensively in the intensive care environment, during which she has presented various courses, including an honour’s degree, a diploma in intensive care, and various short cardiac and ECG courses. Sue also holds an honour’s degree in advanced nursing science (intensive care nursing) and diplomas in nursing education and nursing administration. She was the education manager in a specialised heart hospital where she was responsible for the education of all hospital staff, including non-nursing staff members. Sue is passionate about teaching. She maintains a special interest in all aspects of nursing the critically-ill patient. Read More

Events in other locations

16 - 17 Mar 2020
Rydges Sydney Central
28 Albion Street
Surry Hills, NSW, 2010
23 - 24 Mar 2020
Hotel Ibis Brisbane
27 - 35 Turbot Street
Brisbane, QLD, 4000
Cardiac Care: ECG Interpretation Made Easy Seminar