A12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) is performed on thousands of patients every day in the NHS. This non-invasive investigation is a valuable diagnostic tool and can be of crucial importance in diagnosing cardiovascular problems—but only if it is performed accurately. However, with training and careful preparation, all practice nurses should be able to undertake an accurate ECG.
The ECG is the most commonly performed cardiac investigation but incorrectly recorded ECGs may lead to misdiagnosis. In this study, questionnaires were used to assess the pre-training perceived and actual knowledge of correct ECG recording technique among 54 primary care staff. Training was then performed and, after training, many staff admitted that their previous practice had been incorrect some or all of the time and said that they would change their practice.
Cardiac arrhythmia affects more than 700,000 people in England and is consistently in the top ten reasons for hospital admission, consuming significant accident and emergency time and bed days.1 In the general population, arrhythmias are normally quite minor, silent, and typically benign. Symptoms may affect the patient enough to be both disruptive and distressful. In […]