What is the job description of a Telemetry Nurse?
A Telemetry Nurse is a specialized type of nurse that is responsible for not only caring for patients but also monitoring a patient’s vital signs with an electrocardiogram. Telemetry nurses usually lead telemetry technicians in cardiac monitoring for patients who end up staying in a hospital. Telemetry nurses will typically help the following types of patients:
- Patients with heart conditions
- Patients with high blood pressure
- Patients with a history of stroke
- Patients with a history of heart attack or chest pain
- Patients with a history of heart failure
Telemetry nurses normally monitor heart rhythms and perform diagnostic tests, and will sometimes pass medications to patients. In some instances, telemetry nurses will also start intravenous lines. Overall, the main responsibilities of a telemetry nurse are to ensure that a patient’s heart condition is stable, as well as responding to cardiac emergencies in a time-efficient manner.
Where do Telemetry Nurses work?
Telemetry nurses typically work in hospitals. Telemetry nurses can be found on step-down units or sometimes in certain hospitals that have dedicated telemetry floors. Although the patients who require care from telemetry nurses may have suffered from severe conditions in the past, telemetry nurses generally don’t work in the ICU or other similar units.
What is the average salary of a Telemetry Nurse?
The salary of a telemetry nurse can be relatively higher than a regular RN due to the nature of it being a specialized position. According to PayScale, telemetry nurses can make anywhere from $22.72 per hour to $40.86 per hour. On an annual basis, that equates to about $48,685 per year to $85,448 per year.
What education and certifications are needed to become a Telemetry Nurse?
To become a telemetry nurse, one must already have a degree from an accredited RN program. In addition, you must also have passed your state’s RN licensing exams. Depending on the hospital system that you work floor, additional experience may be required to work in a telemetry unit. Currently, there are no special graduate programs for telemetry nursing, however, one may still get their MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) to enter a management role in Telemetry nursing.
To improve your chances in getting hired in a telemetry unit, a specialized telemetry certification like one offered from the National Telemetry Association can help increase your knowledge in telemetry nursing while also proving to employers that you are passionate about the field.
I’m already an RN - how can I become a Telemetry Nurse?
The first step you should take to become a telemetry nurse is to shadow an existing telemetry RN to see if it is the right fit for you. Once you have decided that the telemetry unit is where you feel like you belong, the next step would be to get certified in telemetry and EKG readings by taking that National Telemetry Association Exam.
The National Telemetry Association Exam is an accredited certification that demonstrates one’s capability in interpreting EKG and telemetry readings. The National Telemetry Association also supplies study guides, videos, and practice exams to help prepare aspiring telemetry nurses for the exam.
Ready to jump start your career as a telemetry nurse? Get started by taking the exam today for only $175, or contact us for any questions that you may have regarding the National Telemetry Association Exam.