Telemetry nurses do a lot of the work, even if they don’t always receive the glory. These nurses monitor and read the machines that provide the info medical staff relies on. One of the most prominent is an ECG which is often used to diagnose cardiovascular issues.
Indeed, telemetry nurses are crucial to the medical field. Doctors, hospitals, and other medical institutions wouldn’t be able to run without them.
For this reason, those who want to take the next step in their nursing career often go into telemetry. It’s a specialization that can help doctors save lives.
Wondering if becoming a telemetry nurse is right for you? To find out more on the importance of telemetry nursing, read on.
What Is a Telemetry Nurse?
A telemetry nurse is a specific type of nurse who specializes in measuring a patient’s health. Telemetry nursing might not get all of the glamour or TV time that ER nurses get, but their job is still important.
A lot of the measuring equipment used in hospital settings requires someone to operate them. Telemetry nurses specialize in this, freeing the doctors up to deal with other tasks. One of the most essential pieces of equipment a telemetry nurse reads is the ECG.
Short for electrocardiogram, an ECG can note and record the electrical signals your heart makes. An ECG can tell the doctor if you have any heart conditions. However, in most cases, the doctor isn’t the one measuring or reading this – that’s a job for the telemetry nurse.
Having established what telemetry nurses do, we can further explore their importance.
Explaining the Importance of What Telemetry Nurses Do
One of the main areas telemetry nurses work on is cardiovascular issues. They record and monitor various machines, including ECGs.
In general, telemetry nurses will work with patients who have the following:
- High blood pressure
- Potential or current heart conditions
- Heart failure
- History of stroke
- History of heart attack
- Chronic chest pain
Telemetry nurses specialize in reading the measurements and charts that track these conditions. These nurses read everything from irregular heartbeat to high blood pressure or low oxygen levels. They’re even trained to help restore the heart’s rhythm in case of a cardiac emergency.
Aside from being able to spot common heart problems, they can warn the doctor in case something is wrong. If a patient has a heart attack or another medical issue, a telemetry nurse is often the first to notice or respond.
It’s worth pointing out that most telemetry nurses are fully trained nurses. They can assist patients and doctors in many of the same capacities as other nurses. The main benefit of telemetry training is the ability to operate and read advanced equipment.
Going Into More Detail
Telemetry nurses have many specific duties and responsibilities. Aside from working with patients with cardiac pain or conditions, they administer medicine. They’re also responsible for conducting diagnostic tests themselves.
These tests are sometimes ordered by the doctor in charge of the patient. That said, the telemetry nurse is the one to do the test, read the results, and inform the doctor or patient as needed.
Telemetry nurses can also check for vital signs and breathing patterns.
Telemetry nurses also often interact directly with patients and their families.
They can inform people about diagnoses and teach them about cardiac health. Telemetry nurses can also pass on the doctor’s recovery and prescription instructions.
Most telemetry nurses also provide first-hand assistance to doctors with various procedures or treatments. Most of these will relate to cardiovascular issues. A telemetry nurse also needs to be able to perform a complete patient history.
They’ll also do physical assessments. This is especially for newer patients or if the doctor is busy.
You’ll also see them in the ICU or sometimes the ER. When you go into the emergency room with an issue, usually, a nurse will take your vitals while you wait. Most of the time, that person checking your heart and blood pressure will be a telemetry nurse.
Becoming a Telemetry Nurse
Becoming a telemetry nurse requires training and telemetry nursing certification. There are some soft skills you need to have, such as good communication skills. This is because you need to be able to work well with patients, doctors, and your fellow nurses.
Many of the initial physical requirements will come from getting a nursing degree. This is the first real step to becoming a telemetry nurse. You either need to get an Associate Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Which one you need will depend on where you want to work. The reason you need a degree is that you have to be a registered nurse. This involves passing the National Council Licensing Exam.
Once you get your degree and pass the exam, you have to apply for a license from the state’s nursing board. With all of that done and approved, you still need anywhere from 1 to 3 years’ worth of experience.
This experience must be with the equipment and tools you’ll use in telemetry and patients. Once you get the experience, you’ll need a telemetry certification as well. These need to get renewed every 2 – 3 years, depending on which one you get.
The Importance of a Telemetry Nurse
A telemetry nurse is one of the most important positions at the hospital. They read measure, and interpret a lot of the raw patient health data that doctors rely on. They do everything from measuring blood pressure to checking your heart.
Becoming a telemetry nurse can be a fulfilling career, but keep in mind it requires some leg work. The National Telemetry Association has all the info you need for what to do and how to take the exam. To find out more and take the next step in your nursing journey, contact us today.