Watch these students imitate and interpret the various heart dysrhythmias using dance.  At the end, the girls are spraying them with MgS04 (Magnesium Sulfate) that is commonly given for ventricular dysrhythmias.

  Arrhythmias and dysrhythmias are mean the same thing.  As a new grad you will not be expected to listen and be able to identify all dysrhythmias unless, you are starting on a cardiac floor.   Then you would want to brush up more on all things cardiac but it will still take lots of workplace practice for you to become really good at it.

  Remember heart rate and rhythm vary between patients and “normal” can be different to different patients.  This is one assessment piece of the patient as a whole.  You may hear an irregular heart rhythm (or view an EKG strip) in one patient who is also comfortable, smiling and talking to you and you can hear similar heart sounds (or view an EKG strip) in another patient who is sweating and lethargic.

Your job as the nurse is to take report from the prior nurse about the patient’s baseline condition and how their condition has changed on the prior shift(s).  You also get report on new medications they have started on, how long they have been on them, and know (or look up) what the desired mechanism of action is.  Watch for desired effects as well any untoward side effects to report on.

  Note their heart rate and rhythm and view their EKG if they have on.  Recheck later.  Any changes?  Yes? Good changes or bad? Good. . . is the medication kicking in?  Bad. . .any reasons why? Newly started med affecting them too much? Maybe hold the next dose and notify the prescriber.  Always follow your facility’s policy and procedure manual.

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