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Cardiac Dysfunction: When Things Go Wrong

  • : Surry Hills NSW 2010


2-Day Seminar for Nurses Includes: Heart Failure; Basic & Complex Arrhythmias; ICD’s & Pacing; Cardiomyopathy; Valvular Disease; Endocarditis; Pericarditis...


Cardiac disease is a major killer of humans. It is linked to a range of genetic disorders, medical conditions and also lifestyle triggers. Our understanding of the causes of cardiac disease has improved significantly in the past few decades, largely due to technology and associated research. As well, treatment and management of complex cardiac disorders are now reasonably well understood. People who previously may have died from cardiac disease often live long and quality lives. The keys to this success are prevention, identification and early intervention of the disease. 
Because so much new evidence relating to cardiac health is coming to the fore, it is essential that nurses, who are often on the frontline of care, have access to up-to-date information about best practices, appropriate skills and treatment goals. 
This seminar is designed for nurses working in all areas of health care as patients may present with cardiac disease as their main complaint, or as an unknown or underlying co-morbid condition.

Need for Program

All nurses working in a wide variety of settings, particularly in acute care, will encounter patients who have cardiac disease. There is a need to stay up-to-date on the assessment, pathophysiology and evidence-based nursing actions relating to cardiac disease so as to improve patient outcomes.

Purpose of Program

Improve patient outcomes for people who present with cardiac disease through assessment, understanding of relevant pathophysiology and appropriate evidence-based nursing actions.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Apply current evidence in assessment and management of a range of cardiac conditions to patients in your setting
  • Analyse clinical assessment findings, determine their significance and relate them to the pathophysiological processes occurring in the patient
  • Revise significance of a basic cardiac rhythm and the 12 lead ECG so as to identify acute changes to cardiac health
  • Enhance depth of clinical assessment and appropriateness of interventions through basic update on inherited cardiac conditions and uncommon syndromes
  • Schedule Day One

    8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


    Cardiac Anatomy & Physiology

    This revision session provides the foundation for understanding cardiac disorders. You will have an opportunity to reflect on your current level of knowledge. Includes:

    • Revision of cardiac anatomy and physiology
    • How do vital signs relate to physiological processes?
    • What are the determinants of cardiac output?
    • What are clinical non invasive techniques for assessment of cardiac output?


    'Stayin' Alive...' Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS)

    Coronary heart disease is the most common form of cardiovascular disease. This session will look in more detail at ACS which is a potentially life-threatening condition. Includes:

    • Understanding the pathophysiology of ACS
    • Differentiating stable and unstable angina and ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI)
    • Differentiating STEMI and Non STEMI

    10:45am - Morning Tea and Coffee


    'The Way You Look Tonight...' Cardiovascular Physical Assessment

    Using case scenarios to illustrate a range of different presentations of ACS, you will gain an opportunity to understand theory in action. Includes:

    • Relating clinical presentation to pathophysiological changes occurring in ACS
    • What are some atypical presentations?
    • Differentiating chest pain presentations


    'I Got Rhythm...' Introduction to Simple Cardiac Rhythm Interpretation & Sinus Rhythm
    • What do the waveforms represent?
    • What does it mean if there are changes in these waveforms or intervals?
    • What are the criteria for sinus rhythm?

    12:30pm - Lunch Break and Networking


    'Good Vibrations...' Basic ECG Interpretation

    ECG is an essential tool used for understanding cardiac disease. This session will review the changes that can be identified on the ECG indicating ACS with particular focus on the ST segments and T waves, and includes:

    • Revision of the normal ECG
    • What does ECG with ST elevation look like?
    • How to identify ECG with ST depression and T inversion
    • What is the significance of changes in ST segments and T waves?


    'Sh-Boom...' Heart Failure – What Does it Mean?

    In this session you will review the difference between systolic and diastolic dysfunction (HFPSDF)

    • What is the emergency management of acute pulmonary oedema (APO)?

    3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    'Another Brick in the Wall?'

    A look at implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) and biventricular pacing – re-synchronization therapy. Includes:

    • What are the indications for an ICD?
    • What happens if the ICD is inappropriately firing?
    • How is biventricular pacing beneficial to someone in heart failure?

    4:30pm - Close of Day One of Program

    Day Two

    9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


    Short Pop Quiz from Yesterday's Learning


    'Take My Breath Away...' Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy

    This is an inherited disorder that affects both ventricles, and can lead to sudden death in, amongst others, healthy young male athletes. This session asks:

    • How do symptoms correlate with disease severity?
    • How can we reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death?


    The Lady in Red: What is Cardiac Syndrome X?

    In this session we will look at a condition that affects more females than males:

    • What is Cardiac Syndrome X?
    • What is seen on coronary angiography?
    • What is the overall risk for women?

    10:40am - Morning Tea and Coffee


    'Blues in the Night...' Valvular Heart Disease

    This interesting session puts theory into practice by the use of case scenarios relating to valvular heart disease. Includes:

    • Case scenarios illustrating typical presentations will enable you to test your clinical reasoning on what you have learned.


    'A Whiter Shade of Pale?' Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD)

    In Australia Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease are prevalent amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. This session asks:

    • What is rheumatic heart disease?
    • How can the progression to RHD be prevented?
    • What are the risks to pregnant women?

    12:45pm - Lunch Break and Networking


    'Night Fever?' Infective Endocarditis

    Despite advances, diagnosing infective Endocarditis remains a challenge. This session includes useful case scenarios. This session asks:

    • Why is it necessary to make an early diagnosis?
    • What are the risks and potential complications?


    'Beat It' Pericarditis – What Type of Chest Pain?

    Another pervasive cardiac disease is pericarditis. Are you confident you could identify this condition during your cardiac assessment? This session will walk you through the signs and symptoms of pericarditis and include assessment tips. Includes:

    • Differentiation from ischaemic origin?
    • Is it a good sign when the friction rub disappears?

    3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    'Total Eclipse of the Heart?' Cardiac Effects of Illicit Drugs!

    The use of recreational drugs is of grave concern. Increasingly, people are presenting to health care professionals with unwanted side effects which are occasionally lethal. This session will look at some of the common party drugs and the impact they have on cardiac function.

    • What are the potential cardiac effects?
    • What 'first aid' can a nurse initiate if working as a sole practitioner?

    4:30pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations


    Freda Fischer

    Freda Fischer

    Freda Fischer has extensive experience as a nurse educator, both in Australia and Singapore. Her qualifications include a Master of Education, Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Practice (Cardiac) and Graduate Diploma of Education. Freda is currently working as a Clinical Lecturer and maintains special interests in all aspects of cardiac nursing and resuscitation.

Cardiac Dysfunction: When Things Go Wrong
Speciality Classification
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11 hours
Start Date
End Date
11 hours
Price Details
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Hotel Ibis Brisbane, 27 - 35 Turbot Street
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