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Care + Career

Resources, news and fun for NHA certification candidates and alumni.

NEW CE: The Role of the Patient Care Tech in the Cardiac Care or Cardiac Telemetry Unit

Patient Care Techs in Cardiac Care
As a patient care technician, you know that “busy” can be an understatement for almost any inpatient setting. When it comes to Coronary Care, also known as Cardiac Step Down or Cardiac Telemetry Units, this is especially true. Specializing in this area of inpatient care is incredibly hard work, but it is equally rewarding. Constant vigilance is required, but the results are rewarding.

You’ll find a lot of variety in cardiac care units. Some patients will have chronic heart failure or another underlying heart disease, but not all. Many patients will be experiencing an acute cardiac issue for the first time and awaiting diagnosis. Others may be admitted for monitoring while they wait for or recover from a procedure, such as heart catheterization.

As a patient care technician to cardiac patients, you’ll need a working knowledge of more than cardiac symptoms, though. Your patients’ various cardiac conditions and prescribed treatments may increase their risk of other health emergencies, such as stroke. You must pay attention to your patients’ overall health, and stay attuned to them even during routine care. Many patients mistakenly believe that the signs or symptoms they experience aren’t important enough to mention to busy staff.

Besides taking vital signs and fulfilling other typical patient care technician tasks, you’ll be tasked with performing 12 lead EKGs, also known as ECG EKGs. Properly placing the electrodes is critical to ensure that rhythm changes are not missed and the results can be interpreted by nurses and doctors accurately.

You’ll also be responsible for monitoring your patients for symptoms of heart rate irregularities, stroke, and heart attack symptoms. Your attentive care will make a difference in your patients’ lives for years to come.

In Role of the PCT in the Cardiac Care or Cardiac Telemetry Unit, you’ll discover how to care for the vast variety of cardiac patients, as well as how to recognize and report health emergencies common to these patients.

By the end of this module, you’ll be able to:  

  • Identify five common cardiovascular conditions seen on a cardiology unit
  • Identify four common arrhythmias seen in cardiology units
  • Name each electrode and their placement on the body when performing and EKG
  • List six common warning signs of stroke
  • Discuss the importance of recognizing ventricular arrhythmias and steps to take when they occur
  • Name five symptoms of a heart attack
  • Describe the PCTs role during a Code Blue
  • Identify four symptoms of heart failure

If you are NHA certified, you can access this continuing education through your account.

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Topics: continuing education