telemetry

Categories: Healthcare

On average, a human heart pumps about a million barrels of blood throughout the body with about 100,000 beats each day and 2.5 billion over a lifetime.

An organ that works this hard deserves for us to take good care of it!

Whether we suspect a problem or know that our heart is suffering, cardiac telemetry monitoring can help us know what is going on.

Read on to learn about this amazing technology and how it may be able to help you or others in the future.

What Is Telemetry?

Telemetry communication refers to the collection of data from one position and automatic transmission of it to monitoring devices at another point.

Healthcare providers use this technology to monitor cardiac patients for extended periods of time.

How Does Telemetry Work?

Healthcare professionals attach electrodes to specific points on the skin around the chest, stomach, and sometimes the limbs. Wires extend from each electrode, attaching them to a recording device that tracks your heart's electrical activity. 

This recorder then sends the information to a monitoring device in another location where a healthcare worker can view the information.

5 Heart Pumping Benefits of Cardiac Telemetry

Using a telemetry system for cardiac monitoring provides a number of benefits to both the healthcare team and the patient. Let's look at 5 perks of using this technology! 

1. Early Detection 

As with any type of cardiac monitoring, this system offers the potential to catch heart problems early on. Heart disease takes more lives than any other killer, making this incredibly important. Detecting treatable heart issues early may save a significant amount of lives.

Myocardial Infarction

A myocardial infarction, or heart attack, refers to a blockage of blood flow to the heart and can occur suddenly. When your heart does not receive fresh blood, the tissues rapidly die.

This then affects circulation to the rest of your body and can cause tissue death all over. Once tissue death occurs, you cannot reverse the damage.

Detecting it quickly with a telemetry system allows doctors to promptly open up the blockage. This will limit the amount of damage caused by the heart attack.

Heart Arrhythmia

Arrhythmia refers to an abnormal heartbeat. Sometimes, this happens without cause for concern. This monitoring system allows doctors to watch for abnormal patterns that could indicate a serious problem with the heart or another underlying condition. 

For instance, atrial fibrillation occurs when the heart beats too fast and irregularly. This type of arrhythmia requires immediate attention as it can lead to heart failure or stroke if left untreated.

The easily monitor picks up on these to allow for early intervention.

The telemetry monitor can also pick up of ventricular fibrillation. This abnormal heart rhythm occurs when disorganized electrical signals cause the ventricles quiver and can lead to sudden cardiac arrest, making immediate detection crucial.

2. Maximization of Healthcare Workers' Time

Telemetry technology allows doctors to monitor patients without needing to sit with them. So, healthcare professionals can take care of other patients in the hospital or nursing home.

Monitors built into the system signal when something unusual occurs with the heart's electrical waves. Trained professionals monitoring the system know when this elicits cause for concern. 

This way, nurses can attend to their duties and focus on patients who need immediate care. Compacting their efforts keeps them from getting fatigued while focusing on patients who do not need them at the moment.

3. Saving Money

All types of telemetry systems save financial resources.

Onsite telemetry eliminates the need for extra staff who require hourly pay. Spending less time with well patients can greatly reduce staffing needs across a hospital or nursing home.

Off-sight telemetry saves even more money for both patients and insurance companies. With this technology, otherwise healthy patients can receive the monitoring that they need at home, eliminating the cost of an unnecessary hospital stay.

4. Detecting Discomfort

Telemetry communication can signal to a health care professional that the patient is experiencing serious pain. When the body feels pain, it sends electrical signals to the sympathetic nervous system.

This stimulates a flight or fight response which constricts the blood vessels, increasing blood pressure, and thus raising the heart rate above normal levels. When the monitor detects a sudden increase in heart rate that remains high, it may indicate distress for the patient and can prompt a visit to their room.

You may wonder why a patient would not simply call for a nurse. In some instances, they simply cannot do it. 

For instance, somebody seriously ill may not possess the strength to call for help. Another example would be a comatose patient, who cannot communicate in any way.

This also helps healthcare professionals when a patient cries out in pain. Sometimes, patients may fake their pain to get narcotic pain medication even when they do not need it, so the nurses can keep their focus elsewhere if the heart rate shows no sign of pain.

5. Patient Peace of Mind

Falling ill or experiencing chest pain can feel scary and overwhelming for a person. They may worry that something will happen when nobody is around or if they fall asleep.

Fortunately, telemetry technology offers them peace of mind. Because somebody can constantly see their electrical heart signals, they can feel safe spending time alone and falling asleep.

Who Needs Telemetry?

A doctor may order telemetry monitoring for a number of reasons, including:

  • Chest pain or a recent heart attack
  • During recovery from a stroke
  • A blood clot in the lung, leg, arm, or another part of the body
  • Following the use of anesthesia or sedatives for surgery or calming a patient
  • While taking certain medications
  • To watch for arrhythmias
  • Pneumonia, pneumothorax, or fluid buildup in the lung
  • Coma
  • Other severe illness that requires monitoring

Despite the reason, it can save lives.

Become a Technician

Do you feel a calling to help people? You can become a telemetry tech and make a living doing exactly that, without the stress and exhausting hours placed on doctors and nurses.

It does not matter you know next to nothing about it, because you can take the course online to learn all about the field and receive national certification! Register for the program today!

Test Your Telemetry Knowledge

Download 10 free sample questions straight from the official National Telemetry Association practice exam to get a head start on your certification prep!