US Library > Medical Assisting > General Procedures > Perform ECG and Interpret

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Perform ECG and Interpret

Medical Assisting > General Procedures

Materials Included:

  • MAEC_jpeg Text
  • MAEC_jpeg Video
  • MAEC_jpeg Anatomy
  • MAEC_jpeg Simulation
  • MAEC_jpeg Quiz
A medical assistant may be responsible for setting up and performing electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) testing. This module teaches you how.

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A medical assistant may be responsible for setting up and performing electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) testing. It is also important to be able to recognize heart rhythms which may indicate cardiac problems requiring immediate intervention by the doctor. This module teaches you how to prepare for, perform and interpret a 12-lead ECG (EKG). Including both Learn and Test modes, the online simulator offers three scenarios that test your ability to correctly perform and obtain a 12-lead electrocardiograph, and interpret the heart rate and rhythm for common pathologies. Practice the steps of the procedures online as often as you want, until you feel confident. This module is based on the entry-level competencies for which the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) test the Medical Assistant.

You’ll learn

  • pre-procedure and post-procedure considerations for performing an ECG (EKG)
  • to understand and describe the basic electrophysiology of the heart
  • to explain the electrical heart views and properties of a 12-lead electrocardiogram
  • to visualize the key anatomical structures of the chest and rib cage, main vessels of the heart, and 3D, 360-degree rotating heart
  • to practice and perfect your skills in performing an accurate 12-lead ECG (EKG)
  • how to identify tracings of a normal cardiac condition and common arrhythmias
  • how to recognize, explain and resolve ECG artifacts
  • correct documentation and recording requirements
  • relevant medical terminology
  • much more (see Content Details for more specific information)
Step 1 - Preparation
Step 1.1 - Equipment preparation
Step 1.2 - Medical assistant preparation
Step 1.3 - Patient preparation
Step 2 - Clean the sites
Step 3 - Apply and attach the electrodes
Step 3.1 - Place the electrodes on the extremities
Step 3.2 - Place the precordial electrodes on the chest
Step 3.3 - Connect the lead wires
Step 4 - Record the ECG
Step 5 - Analyze the 12-lead ECG
Step 5.1 - Assess the heart rate
Step 5.1.1 - The 6-second ECG count
Step 5.1.2 - The small square count
Step 5.1.3 - The large square count
Step 5.2 - Assess the rhythm
Step 5.2.1 - Assess the atrial rhythm
Step 5.2.2 - Assess the ventricular rhythm
Step 5.3 - Examine the PQRST complex
Step 5.3.1 - Assess the P wave
Step 5.3.2 - Assess the intervals
Step 5.3.3 - Assess the wave and segment appearance
Step 5.4 - Common abnormal ECG recordings
Step 5.4.1 - Sinus arrhythmias
Step 5.4.2 - Atrial arrhythmias
Step 5.4.3 - Junctional arrhythmia
Step 5.4.4 - Ventricular arrhythmia
Step 5.4.5 - AV blocks
Step 5.4.6 - Biochemical arrhythmias
Step 5.4.7 - Pacemaker systems
Step 5.4.8 - Myocardial infarction
Step 6 - Complete the procedure
Step 7 - Stress testing and Holter monitoring
Step 7.1 - Stress testing
Step 7.2 - Holter monitoring
  • Describe pre-procedure considerations for performing an ECG.
  • Describe and demonstrate the preparation for performing an ECG.
  • Describe the basic electrophysiology of the heart.
  • Describe and explain the electrical heart views and properties of a 12-lead ECG.
  • Describe and demonstrate how to perform an accurate 12-lead ECG.
  • Identify tracings of a normal cardiac condition and common arrhythmias.
  • Identify and explain ECG artifacts, and how to resolve them.
  • Describe stress testing and Holter monitoring.
  • Know the correct post-procedure considerations.
  • Define and use related medical terminology.
  • Explain the Patient Privacy Rule (HIPAA), Patient Safety Act, and Patients' Bill of Rights.

The SIMTICS modules are all easy to use and web-based. This means they are available at any time as long as the learner has an internet connection. No special hardware or other equipment is required, other than a computer mouse for use in the simulations. Each of the SIMTICS modules covers one specific procedure or topic in detail. Each module contains:

  • an online simulation (available in Learn and Test modes)
  • descriptive text, which explains exactly how to perform that particular procedure including key terms and hyperlinks to references
  • 2D images and a 3D model of applied anatomy for that particular topic
  • a step by step video demonstration by an expert
  • a quiz
  • a personal logbook that keeps track of all the modules the learner has studied and how long

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