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Cardiac Care: A General Update for Nurses Seminar

  • : Melbourne VIC 3000

How often do you look at your handover sheet and see the following included in the history of your patient? AF; IHD; HTN; hypercholesterolemia; or mild renal impairment? Sound familiar? The prevalence of cardiovascular disease in Australia means it is a common comorbidity in many patients, not just those who are hospitalised because of an acute cardiac condition. If you work in general nursing and regularly care for patients with cardiac conditions, attend this seminar to improve your confidence in and knowledge of:

  • How basic dysrhythmias can be easily identified
  • The latest guidelines for the immediate nursing management of chest pain
  • The electrolyte imbalances that are most dangerous in patients with cardiac disease
  • When “low blood pressure” may actually be cardiogenic or hypovolemic shock
  • Why fluid restrictions and daily weights are essential for patients with heart failure
  • How to prevent mild renal impairment from progressing to acute renal failure

Attend this seminar if you work in a non-cardiac specific ward or unit, but you regularly care for patients with an underlying cardiac disease. If you work in a cardiac speciality area, this seminar may be a useful refresher of existing knowledge.


Need for Program

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW 2016), nearly half a million hospital admissions in 2014-2015 were specifically related to the circulatory system, including arrhythmia, heart failure, heart attacks, angina, and stroke. Of the other 10 million hospitalisations in Australia, an underlying cardiac disease is likely to feature in many patients who are admitted for other reasons. As such, nurses who work in general non-cardiac settings units are frequently required to care for patients with underlying complex cardiac conditions. It is, therefore, essential that all nurses remain up-to-date in the evidenced care of patients with underlying cardiac comorbidities.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this seminar is to provide education to nurses who work in non-cardiac areas about the assessment and management of common cardiac comorbidities, so as to improve outcomes for patients.

Your Learning Outcomes
  • You will have greater confidence in assessing a patient with an underlying cardiac comorbidity
  • Patients in your care will have basic dysrhythmias prevented through the early management of electrolyte imbalances
  • Your immediate nursing assessment and management of chest pain will reflect current guidelines
  • Your knowledge of cardiac function will assist you to recognise hypovolemic and cardiogenic shock early to prevent complications
  • Schedule Day One

    8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


    Welcome, Overview of Seminar and Pre-Test


    Back to Basics - Cardiac Anatomy and Physiology

    No matter where you work, some of your patients are likely to present with underlying or acute cardiac disease – as a primary or secondary diagnosis. This introductory revision session will provide the foundation for understanding cardiac disorders as a comorbid or preexisting condition. It will review the anatomy and physiology related to common cardiac disorders. It includes:

    • Revision of cardiac anatomy and physiology including:
      • Cardiac cycle and its relation to the ECG
    • Assessment of cardiac output and its relation to vital signs, including an explanation of the key terms


    Assessing the Cardiovascular System and Common Diagnostic Procedures

    Physical examination techniques elicit a significant portion of data from which to generate a nursing assessment. This session focuses on the physical assessment of the heart and cardiovascular system. It includes non-invasive diagnostic procedures that can assist in understanding and interpreting a patient’s diagnosis. This practical session includes demonstration and discussion of:

    • Obtaining a history – the importance of good listening and questioning skills
    • Physical examination - general inspection, palpation, and auscultation techniques
    • Examination of the heart and chest landmarks
    • Chest X-Rays – what to look for and how to understand the significance of abnormal findings

    11:00am - Morning Tea


    Electrocardiography – ECGs Explained

    In this session, we will review the basic underlying principles and the normal criteria for interpreting a 12-lead ECG. You will learn how to systematically read an ECG to determine and identify abnormalities and their significance. You will have time to apply these on a normal 12-lead ECG. This session will explain the theory and practical application of the following concepts:

    • Basic ECG principles – lead placement and key terms explained
    • Criteria for normality of the different components of the ECG
    • Determination of cardiac rate
    • Normal R-wave progression and how to interpret the different QRS configurations

    1:00pm - Lunch and Networking


    Ischaemic Heart Disease – Causes, Assessment, and Immediate Management of Chest Pain

    Patients being cared for in all areas may experience cardiac ischaemia due to a variety of underlying factors. In this session, we will discuss the atherosclerotic process, and how it relates to ischaemic heart disease. We will then take a look at the assessment and immediate nursing management of chest pain, including the current evidence-based use of oxygen. You will also be given an opportunity to practice your ECG-interpretation skills in the context of a patient with ischaemic heart disease. It includes a practical session where you will have time to systematically analyse an abnormal 12-lead ECG and discusses:

    • The modifiable and unmodifiable risk factors for heart disease
    • A closer look at hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis
    • How to differentiate types of chest pain
    • Acute myocardial infarction – a STEMI versus an NSTEMI

    3:00pm - Afternoon Tea


    Dysrhythmias - Recognising Rate Disturbances

    There are a wide variety of dysrhythmias caused by a range of factors, not just cardiac dysfunction. Rate disturbances can have profound implications and be a reason for acute deterioration. Recognising such life-threatening changes is essential. In this session, we will review and discuss the basic and life-threatening dysrhythmias you may encounter, as well as the common treatment modalities for each. This session includes rhythm strip exercises that will assist you to apply your theory to practice and looks at:

    • Basic cardiac dysrhythmias and how to identify them
    • Common treatment modalities for each of the dysrhythmias


    Final Questions and Wrap Up

    5:00pm - Close of Day One of Seminar

    Day Two

    9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


    Review of Day One and Introduction to Day Two

    Day two of the seminar will commence with an opportunity to ask questions and review principles about your learning from day one. It will also introduce you to the program for day two.


    Valvular Dysfunction

    Valvular heart disease is a cardiac abnormality and often leads to comorbidities in patients. In this interesting and fun session, we will briefly discuss valve dysfunction and the sequence of events that may lead to heart failure. We will put theory into practice with a practical application of heart murmurs and symptomatology to determine the type and extent of valve dysfunction using case scenarios. Topics to be included in this session:

    • What is the difference between stenosis, incompetence, or regurgitation?
    • How can the following types of valvular dysfunction be assessed and what are the symptoms of each?
    • Heart sounds – how, where, and what to listen to
    • What is the common sequence of events seen in valve dysfunction?

    10:15am - Morning Tea


    Hypovolemic and Cardiogenic Shock – Clinical Syndromes Explained

    Patients with cardiac disease may become unwell rapidly. While you may assess the patient as having low blood pressure, the underlying pathophysiology is likely to be much more complex. This session will take a simple look at two common causes of deterioration – hypovolemic and cardiogenic shock. It will look at the assessment, management, prevention, and treatment of these two presentations. It also includes:

    • Hypovolemic shock – more than just “low blood pressure”
    • How do complications such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and renal impairment develop?
    • A brief look at how these types of shock differ to other types of shock


    Heart Failure – A Case Study

    Heart failure is often the result of a combination of other disorders and may lead to numerous other system failures or complications in patients. In this session, we will discuss the assessment, management, and common treatment options that you need to be aware of for a patient presenting with heart failure. This session will also differentiate between left-sided, right-sided, and congestive heart failure. It includes:

    • A common review of key principles underpinning heart failure
    • How to assess a patient with cardiac failure
    • What is the difference between left, right sided, and congestive heart failure?
    • The sequence of events in heart failure and how symptoms might present
    • Putting it all together – fluid restrictions, daily weights, and other aspects of nursing care

    1:00pm - Lunch and Networking


    Systemic Hypertension - Time to Extend Your Knowledge

    Hypertension in any patient is considered a risk factor for heart disease. Hypertension, in its various forms, is also a common risk factor for most other non-cardiac patients. More than just a cuff reading, in this session, we will discuss the normal parameters, assessment, and management of systemic hypertension. Extend your knowledge of this common condition. Topics include:

    • Time to test your knowledge – a quick revision of key terms relating to blood pressure
    • The types and risk factors for hypertension
    • The potential complications of poorly controlled systemic hypertension


    Metabolic Disturbances - Electrolytes and Rhythm Changes

    Electrolyte disturbances can have a profound effect on the heart and result in life-threatening disorders. It is imperative that the nurses caring for patients with underlying cardiac disease understand electrolyte balance and recognise common imbalances. In this session, we will review electrolytes that have an effect on the heart and explain how to identify abnormalities. We will also explore common treatments for electrolyte disturbances. It includes:

    • What are the four essential electrolytes and why are these vital to heart function?
    • How can you identify serum electrolyte imbalances on a rhythm strip or ECG?
    • What are the common treatment modalities for serious or life-threatening electrolyte imbalances?

    3:30pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    Mild to Moderate Renal Impairment

    Renal impairment is a comorbidity in patients with cardiac disease. Renal impairment must be well understood as it closely relates to the heart and can be worsened if cardiac function deteriorates. In this session, we will briefly discuss the assessment, management, and nursing actions to be taken for a patient presenting with varying degrees of renal impairment. It includes:

    • Revision of related anatomy and physiology of the kidneys
    • A basic explanation of the role and functions of the kidney
    • Renal impairment – how it’s assessed and the significance of urea and creatinine
    • Treatment and management of mild to moderate renal impairment
    • What nurses need to know to prevent mild or moderate renal impairment exalting to acute renal failure


    Final Wrap Up and Completion of Post-Test Quiz

    5:00pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations


    Sue de Muelenaere

    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.

    Cardiac Care: A General Update for Nurses Seminar
    Speciality Classification
    Interest Areas / Topics Covered
    -- GENERAL --
    Provider Type
    Event Managers
    12 Hours | 00 Mins
    Start Date
    End Date
    12 Hours | 00 Mins
    Melbourne VIC 3000
    Oaks On Collins , 480 Collins St
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