While positions like ER nurse or pediatric nurse have common nursing responsibilities, the duty of a telemetry nurse might not be familiar to you. This article walks you through everything you need to know about this career including job description, requirements and job opportunity.
What Is a Telemetry Nurse?
Telemetry nurse specializes in providing care for patients who are dealing with cardiovascular issues like heart disease, complications of heart disease, heart attacks, chest pain, or other medical conditions requiring continuous telemetry monitoring. They also take care of patients who are recovering from a cardiac intervention such as a cardiac stent or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery.
What Does a Telemetry Nurse Do?
A telemetry nurse specializes in assigning and monitoring the output of electrocardiograms (EKGs) – this method translates the heart’s electrical impulses. Telemetry nurses are in charge of detecting dangerous changes in heart rhythms, then alerting the physician in charge. They also observe vital signs like blood pressure and oxygen level. If they detect any irregular heart rhythm, assistance is required such as cardioversions or other treatments.
To sum up, we list the role and duty of telemetry nurses below:
- Monitor EKG output and alert any dangerous changes for physicians.
- Assist patients experiencing cardiac pain.
- Perform diagnostic tests.
- Monitor vital signs like oxygen levels, blood pressure, breathing patterns, and more.
- Administer medication.
- Assists doctors in procedures and treatments for cardiac issues.
- Educates patients on cardiac health.
How Do You Become a Telemetry Nurse?
Telemetry nurses are registered nurses (RNs). To become an RN, explore our article on How to Become a Registered Nurse: A Step-By-Step Guide. Registered nurses have to complete some additional training to pursue a career as telemetry nurses
- Learn how to use an electrocardiogram machine to observe a patient’s heart and assist the doctor in diagnosing abnormalities.
- Enroll in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) training to react to a patient’s cardiac arrest. You can find these programs at local community colleges or nursing schools.
To work as a telemetry nurse, you have to hold an ADN or BSN and pass the NCLEX-RN. Additionally, you need to get some certifications or credentials to practice your job. For instance, the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) offers certification for med-surg nurses who care for patients with telemetry monitoring. The American Association for Critical Care Nurses (AACN) provides 2 sub-specialty certifications for telemetry nurses including
- CMC is for nurses who provide direct care to critically ill cardiac patients.
- CSC is for nurses who take care of cardiac surgery patients during the first 48 hours post-op.
What Skills Do You Need to be a Telemetry Nurse?
Telemetry nursing must have the ability to set up, overview, and analyze the techniques for monitoring important patient’s vitals. In addition to this specialized skill set, telemetry nurses also need to understand how to provide critical care to their patients when detecting any dangerous change. Therefore, this nursing career requires strong knowledge in biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology.
Where Do Telemetry Nurses Work?
Typically, telemetry nurses work in hospitals to care for patients who are out of the ICU and need to monitor their vital signs. They also work in a telemetry unit, clinics, and certain outpatient facilities to provide in-home care for patients who need to be monitored at all times for clinical studies or other diagnostic reasons.
How Much Does a Telemetry Nurse Make?
The salary range of telemetry nurses depends on many factors such as location and education level. The median salary of a telemetry nurse is $58,500, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The job outlook for telemetry nurses stays strong due to a nursing shortage. The Telemetry nurses and technicians who occupations in the cardiovascular area are projected to grow by 24% from 2014 to 2024.
Telemetry Nurse is a challenging job that offers exposure to direct patient care and technology allowing you to work in a high-intensity nursing role. If you’re a RN who wish to make impact on more lives, this is an ideal career choice for you.