EKG Plain and Simple: From Rhythm Strips to 12-Leads

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9780130197450: EKG Plain and Simple: From Rhythm Strips to 12-Leads

For courses covering EKG. * Using a conversational tone, this all-inclusive guide to electrocardiography discusses basic to advanced topics such as rhythm strip analysis, 12-lead EKG interpretation, recognition of a heart attack in progress, and the constantly evolving treatment of arrhythmia. Its comprehen- * sive treatment and hundreds of sample strips emphasize not only the need for practice to perfect skills, but explanations to understand answers--and what makes each one of them correct.

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From the Back Cover:

  • An entire chapter devoted to rhythm strip analysis tools.
  • Twenty 12-lead EKGs and five detailed scenarios.
  • Hundreds of drawings, tables, and charts.
  • Chapter-end quizzes.
  • 200 rhythm strips taken from actual medical settings.
  • Rationales for all practice strips/EKGs.

Other Titles of Interest
Ellis, EKG in a Heartbeat, 2002 (0-13-0061440-8)
Ellis, Prentice Hall Health Question and Answer Review of EKG, 2002 (0-13-019748-3)
Beasley, Understanding EKGs: A Practical Approach, 2000 (0-8359-8571-7)
Weiss, EKG Technician, 2/eE, 2002 (0-13-019445-X)

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Don't you just groan at the thought of buying yet another cold, formal textbook, the kind that imparts important information, but in such a tedious way that you're lucky if you can stay awake long enough to learn anything? Well, this isn't one of those books. This text is very informal. It's written in a conversational style so that you feel you're sitting with a favorite instructor who's teaching you one-on-one. Before you know it, you've learned concepts and skills and haven't snored even once. You may have even chuckled a time or two, as there is occasional humor in this text. Humor? In a textbook? Sure. Think about your favorite instructors. Chances are they're your favorite because they knew how and when to use humor to illustrate a point. And I'll bet you still remember what they taught you. If something makes you laugh, you'll remember it. That being said, however, do not get the impression that this is not a serious textbook on electrocardiography. It is.

This text assumes no prior knowledge about electrocardiography or about the heart in general. It takes the student from square one and builds knowledge from the bottom up, pyramid style. At the base of the pyramid is cardiac anatomy and physiology—not enough to be intimidating, but just enough so that the concepts about electrocardiography have a solid foundation. Cardiac anatomy and physiology are covered in Part I of the text.

Also in Part I is information about the cardiac conduction system, leads, EKG waves and complexes, and lots of practice exercises to hone your newly learned skills. At the end of Part I is arrhythmia interpretation. Basic rhythms, their causes, clinical implications, and treatment are covered. Rhythm summary sheets and algorithms (flowcharts) help you learn rhythm interpretation, and quizzes at the end of chapters help you evaluate your comprehension of the material. There is an entire chapter of rhythm strips to interpret.

A word about the rhythm strips. Some strips have a dotted-line grid pattern in the background and others have a more solid-line grid. This is because different EKG machines print out differently. It's important to be able to interpret rhythm strips with all types of backgrounds. Also, unlike some EKG textbooks that use computer-generated rhythm strips and thus have picture-perfect strips, this text, with few exceptions, uses strips from real patients. Therefore, a few strips have nurses' writing on them or interpretive data from the EKG monitor. Also, a few strips may be a bit faded. Do not let this distract you. Each one of these strips has something to teach you.

Also in Part I is a brief chapter on coronary artery disease. Since electrocardiography deals with a population of individuals with cardiac problems, it makes sense not just to be adept at interpreting their rhythm strips and EKGs, but also to be knowledgeable about their disease process and symptoms. It's important to see the person beneath the EKG.

Part II is higher up the pyramid. It covers 12-lead EKG analysis, cardiac medications, intraventricular conduction defects (IVCDs), pacemakers, and diagnostic electrocardiography. There are algorithms to help in IVCD and MI recognition. You'll learn to recognize whether a patient is having a heart attack, which part of the heart is damaged, which blood vessel is involved, and which medications are used to treat it. There is an entire chapter of 12lead EKGs to evaluate. At the end of Part II is a chapter of scenarios providing rhythm strips and/or 12-lead EKGs along with a clinical situation and asking pertinent questions to challenge you to assess the situation and decide on an intervention. This chapter helps to pull everything together. It's the apex of the pyramid.

This text is a complete guide to electrocardiography, from the basics to the more advanced concepts. It's appropriate for allied health students, nurses or nursing students, medical students or residents, and emergency medical technicians and paramedics. Though intended for beginners, it's also an excellent reference for those experienced practitioners seeking a good review.

So enough talk already. Let's get started!

Karen Ellis

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