Telemetry or Cardiac Monitoring

The category of Telemetry or Cardiac Monitoring covers the role and responsibilities of the medical-surgical nurse in caring for the patient with cardiac telemetry monitoring. These patients require this monitoring and may need intravenous therapy drips, arterial lines, and central venous pressure lines. Special training allows nurses on a medical-surgical unit to interpret patient cardiac rhythms.

Photo: "The Many Faces of AMSN Members," taken at a recent annual convention.

Question: Can you please provide acceptable standards for use of a telemetry technician? I have reviewed an issue where the technician is not trained in reading rhythms, but would alert the RN if an alarm rings...

Answer: Upon investigation of your clinical question, members of the committee have provided their expertise in regards to the recommendations for telemetry technicians. While querying members of the committee...

Question: There are times when there is an overflow of telemetry patients and another floor is opened to accommodate the overflow... nurse has to call tech to see what pattern patient is presenting...

Answer: A variety of facilities utilize different approaches-some offer remote monitoring with the use of a telemetry technician, some utilize the traditional method of the nurse being the primary monitor, and thirdly, some facilities use a blended approach...

Question: Should IV push Lopressor be given on medical/surgical units where there is no cardiac monitoring?

Answer: Our review reveals that the best practice is to ensure the patient receiving Lopressor has a cardiac telemetry monitor in place...

Question: Should a medical telemetry unit be allowed to administer non-titrated IV drips such as Cardizem or Dopamine? If so what are the guidelines for administration?

Answer: ...the guidelines for administration on IV drips such as Cardizem or Dopamine varies by entities, the size of the facility, as well as the indication for the medicated drip...

Question: Is there a position statement/policy or best practice from any organization on a safe communication plan for remote cardiac telemetry monitoring on a med-surg unit?

Answer: The standard of practice is that telemetry technicians are trained either through a hospital-based program or an institutional program (such as those credentialed by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Professionals)...

Question: Is there a trend to be seeing full telemetry in hospitals, meaning medical surgical units would be full telemetry? Our hospital is working toward this. Does the AMSN have a stance on this?

Answer: Implementation of telemetry on general medical-surgical units is a trend we are seeing across the country. AMSN does not have a position statement on this, nor were we able to find one in our literature search...

Question: Can you please tell me the acceptable standards for use of a telemetry technician?

Answer: The standard of practice is that telemetry technicians are trained either through a hospital-based program or an institutional program (such as those credentialed by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Professionals). Facility based programs...

Question regarding: Medical surgical units and remote telemetry area overseen by cardiac stepdown unit...

Answer: Hospitals queried have dedicated telemetry units, with admission criteria deeming the patient appropriate for that unit...