Effective and efficient patient monitoring is critical to successful outcomes in the medical sector. Conventionally, patients were required to be attended by nurses and doctors physically thus posing a severe constraint on the number of patients that could be attended to. Modern advances in medical diagnostics and monitoring has been able to demolish this barrier to a great extent, Now, with the help of remote bio-medical telemetry devices, doctors and specialist physicians can get access to all patient information on call and even in real-time if they so desire. A critical aspect of this care is played by telemetry nurses who are responsible for connecting the diagnostic and monitoring equipment to the patient and reviewing data.
What Do Telemetry Nurses Do?
Telemetry nurses are responsible for ensuring that patients requiring critical care have the correct diagnostic and monitoring equipment attached properly and that the data is reviewed and transmitted to the appropriate medical staff supervising the patient’s care. They also review the data relating to the patient’s blood pressure, breathing, heart rate, and other vital signs. In addition to the above, nurses have to carry out normal nursing duties such as administration of medicines and coordinating with the patient and family members. Since patients in critical care units require continuous monitoring, telemetry nurses need to operate in shifts that may involve long hours during nights, holidays and even weekends.
Telemetry Nursing Career Requirements
Telemetry nurses need to possess advanced knowledge of medicine, a high level of technical expertise, very strong communication and inter-personal skills, not to speak of a very high degree of motivation and compassion. Most of the work the nurses do involve patients with life-threatening conditions and hence require advanced monitoring. It is necessary for telemetry nurses to be able to assess the degree of risk and complications and be able to review the equipment as well as the data collected to detect symptoms that may indicate patient distress or jeopardy. Telemetry nurses need to be proficient in using electrocardiogram equipment as most patients are either recovering from a cardiac surgery or are under care after having suffered a cardiac problem. However, mobile telemetry equipment is also commonly used to monitor the condition of patients with epilepsy or with sleeping disorders.
A high level of proficiency in working with sophisticated equipment and interpreting complex data is an essential skill required of telemetry nurses. Nurses also need extensive medical knowledge and are required to be intimately conversant with the patient’s medical history so that they can ensure that the correct medical care is being administered to them. They should also be able to hold intelligent conversations regarding the medical condition of the patients both with doctors as well as family members. Nurses are required to be able to multi-task as they have to attend to a number of patients at the same time.
One of the prime duties of telemetry nurses involves interacting with the patient and their family members. Thus it is essential that they have extremely strong interpersonal skills and are empathetic. It must be kept in mind that they need to deal with patients and family members who might be under a great deal of tension and they should be adequately prepared to put them at ease. Many patients may also require education on lifestyle changes, exercise, healthy eating, and disease prevention techniques that they need to follow after leaving the hospital so telemetry nurses should possess adequate knowledge about these subjects.
Education and Training
Most employers will prefer nurses to possess a degree in nursing science that is typically conducted over four years. The completion of this course indicates that it is more probable that the RN has the desired competence in patient care as well as equipment operation. To achieve the designation of Progressive Care Certified Nurse (PCCN), telemetry nurses need to pass a certification examination. The job outlook for qualified and experienced telemetry nurses remains excellent.