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Cardiac Care: ECG Interpretation Made Easy

  • : Melbourne VIC 3000


Does your work require you to perform 12-lead ECGs? Do you feel confident in interpreting basic cardiac rhythms and recognising ECG changes? Is it time you had a refresher on the use of ECGs? If so, then these two highly evaluated study days are for you. This seminar will bring you up-to-date and refresh your knowledge of this key component of a cardiac assessment. Includes:

  • How do you prepare a patient for a 12-lead ECG?
  • What is the correct lead placement and why does this matter?
  • A review of relevant anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology, key to cardiac function
  • Basic interpretation of a standard 12-lead ECG
  • How do you recognise ECG changes that suggest acute cardiac injury?
  • What do life-threatening arrhythmias look like and what actions should you take?

Gain knowledge and confidence and apply these skills to your practice immediately. Book now!


Need for Program


ECGs are a vital aspect of a cardiac assessment and are expected to be widely performed in most clinical settings. However, this skill is often seen as difficult to master. Correctly placing the leads is vital to ensuring a high quality diagnostic standard 12-lead ECG is taken.

Nurses also need to have basic knowledge of how to interpret a 12-lead ECG, particularly the recognition of ECG changes that may indicate acute cardiac injury or life-threatening arrhythmias that are likely to require immediate interventions.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this seminar is to provide all nurses with an opportunity to learn how to perform and interpret a high quality diagnostic standard 12-lead ECG as part of an overall cardiac assessment.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this program it is expected that the participants will be able to:

  • Apply an understanding of normal cardiac function and electrophysiology to a cardiac assessment
  • Discuss nursing actions required relating to patient preparation and recording of a diagnostic standard 12-lead ECG
  • Apply basic principles of cardiac rhythm analysis to a rhythm strip and correctly identify normal and abnormal cardiac rhythms
  • Be able to recognise life-threatening arrhythmias and acute ECG changes and initiate timely nursing management actions
  • Schedule Day One

    8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


    Needs Analysis and Introduction to the Program

    This introductory session will set the scene for the two-day program. The pre-test will offer you an opportunity to self-evaluate your current level of knowledge and identify areas for special review during the day. Common terminology used in cardiac medicine will also be reviewed at this stage.

    • Pre-test and electrophysiology terminology review
    • Assessment of cardiac function – mechanical and electrical
    • Review of cardiac anatomy and physiology

    10:00am - Morning Tea and Coffee


    Recording a 12-Lead ECG

    The role and place of ECGs in diagnosis of cardiac disease is unquestionable. Correctly recording an ECG is an important nursing skill and the correct placement and attachment of leads is crucial. This session will clearly explain nursing responsibilities and the process involved in recording a diagnostic quality ECG.

    • Why are ECGs recorded and what information can they provide?
    • When should a filter be used and what is calibration? What is interference and how can it be eliminated?
    • What is interference and how can it be eliminated?
    • Criteria for recording a diagnostic standard ECG


    Electrophysiology Interpretation

    The electrical activity of the heart is a fascinating yet complex aspect of human physiology. A working knowledge of cardiac electrophysiology is essential to understanding the basics of ECGs and cardiac rhythms.

    • Recording and interpreting cardiac electrical activity
    • Significance of ECG waveforms and intervals
    • Practice in interpretation of normal sinus rhythm

    12:00pm - Lunch Break and Networking


    Simplifying 12-Lead ECG Interpretation

    In this session, you will learn the basics of ECG interpretation, with specific emphasis on the patient with chest pain. How are the ten attached lead wires utilised to record 12 lead views of the left ventricle and which leads look at specific areas of the heart? What ECG changes are seen with common cardiac disorders – including myocardial ischaemia, injury and acute infarction (ACS) – and which require urgent interventions?

    • How to approach an analysis of a 12-lead ECG
    • Lead views of the heart – standard and other optional lead recordings
    • In the patient with chest pain – what ECG changes indicate myocardial ischaemia, injury or infarction?
    • Placement of lead V4R - what does this tell us and when do we need to do this?

    2:30pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    Recognition of Other ECG Changes

    The final session will review and reflect on what has been learned so far. As well, there will be a discussion of the professional implications for nurses who record ECGs as part of their scope of practice.

    • What changes need to be reported urgently? Why?
    • Review of professional and legal nursing responsibilities in relation to ECG recording and in recognising and reporting ECG changes
    • Practical review of 12-lead ECG changes - your turn to practice
    • Summary and review of pre-test

    4:30pm - Close of Day One of Program

    Day Two

    9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


    Introduction and Needs Analysis

    Nurses are expected to have a sound understanding of the normal rhythm of the heart – sinus rhythm. We will review your scope of practice in regard to recognition and management of arrhythmias. Whether you are involved in initiating cardiac monitoring, or just want to be able to interpret the rhythm strip at the bottom of the 12 lead ECG tracing, this session will assist you.

    • Pre-test to identify your current knowledge level
    • Discussion about the role of the nurse in interpreting arrhythmias
    • Review:
    • Assessment of cardiac function
    • Cardiac electrophysiology
    • Identifying criteria for sinus rhythms
    • Practice rhythms for analysis

    10:00am - Morning Tea and Coffee


    A Simple Approach to Arrhythmia Interpretation

    Interpreting abnormal heart rhythms is often considered to be difficult and primarily the role of experienced nurses working in special care areas such as CCU or ICU. This session will introduce a simple approach to arrhythmia interpretation that can be used by all nurses, regardless of their workplace. It will enable them to confidently communicate and document abnormal rhythms using appropriate and commonly accepted terminology.

    • Introduction to arrhythmia terminology
    • Explore common causes and thus identify patients at risk of arrhythmias
    • Discuss the physiological effects of arrhythmias and the importance of clinical assessment to determine urgency of treatment required
    • Explore a simple approach to categorising arrhythmias


    Arrhythmias with a Fast Rate – Tachyarrhythmias

    Tachyarrhythmias occur commonly – both in young, healthy persons and in those with acute or chronic cardiac disorders. This session will describe what happens to the heart when tachyarrhythmias occur and will explore where they may originate, how to recognise differing rhythms and possible management options. Includes:

    • Introduction to tachyarrhythmias
    • What effect may they have on cardiac output /circulation?
    • Can we differentiate between life-threatening and non-life-threatening tachyarrhythmias?
    • Management options – medicines, manual techniques, and defibrillation
    • Rhythm interpretation practice

    12:30pm - Lunch Break and Networking



    Bradyarrhythmias can occur for a variety of reasons in those with cardiac disorders and in others who are healthy. Why do some individuals have a normal slow pulse that has no effect on their cardiac output/circulation when others rapidly become symptomatic at similar rates? This session will explore the origin, causes, effects and management of bradyarrhythmias.

    • Introduction to bradyarrhythmias
    • Possible causes and effects – can they be life threatening?
    • Management options – medicines, manual techniques, pacing
    • Rhythm interpretation practice

    2:30pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    Questions and Practice Scenarios

    We will finish by putting your new knowledge into practice – a number of clinical scenarios will be posed where you can identify the arrhythmia, consider nursing and medical treatment indicated, and summarise nursing responsibilities.

    • Group review of patient scenarios
    • An overview of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias – cardiac arrest
    • BLS / ALS guidelines and role of the ARC

    4:30pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations


    Joanne Reading

    Joanne Reading

    Joanne Reading is a Critical Care Registered Nurse with extensive experience clinically managing a wide array of critically ill patients. Joanne holds a Master’s of Health Science (Critical Care) and is passionate about ensuring that education not only fosters critical thinking, but is entertaining in the process! With a special interest in all things cardiac and respiratory, Joanne currently works as an Intensive Care Clinical Educator within a dynamic and expanding 10-bed unit, as well as an undergraduate teacher at a large reputable university in Melbourne. Joanne has recently joined the revolution of Free Open Access Nursing Education (#FOANed) by starting her own nursing education blog called "Blogging for your Noggin", having her work referred to by popular education sites such as The Nurse Path and Life in the Fast Lane.

    Cardiac Care: ECG Interpretation Made Easy
    Speciality Classification
    Provider Type
    11 hours
    Start Date
    End Date
    11 hours
    Price Details
    Melbourne VIC 3000
    Oaks On Collins , 480 Collins St
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