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EMT-B EKG Interpretation

Discussion in 'BLS Discussion' started by grapp, Nov 5, 2016.

  1. grapp

    grapp Forum Ride Along

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    Hi guys,

    I recently just graduated my EMT-B class. I'm currently looking into taking the national written test, as I have already passed my national practical in my class which follows the same guidelines as the national one.

    Anyhow, I wondered if learning EKG rates, rhythms, P-Wave, PR interval, QRS Interval, QT Interval, and being able to identify abnormalities would make me a better candidate in an interview as another skill that could separate myself from the rest of the basics.

    Any thoughts or comments? I started looking into it, and it doesn't look that terrible.
    I may end up learning it, whether or not it will help me an interview because it's just interesting more than anything.

    Would this separate me from other EMT-B students?

    Thanks.
     
  2. gonefishing

    gonefishing Forum Deputy Chief

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    Not necessarily. Although great to have. If your trying to go for a large respectable service they are looking for people that look well put together, carry themselves well and have great attitudes. If you go for your mom and pop type service most will take anybody that walks in the door. If your looking to go beyond emt, start learning on the side. This will give you a great advantage to your fellow class mates if you seek to go say Paramedic. If you are seeking to climb the ladder as an emt within a service, your dedication and work ethic as well as how well you work with others will be the judge.
    A leader is some one who says "lets do it together" some one who is not a true leader but has a high title says "Go do that"

    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
     
  3. Qulevrius

    Qulevrius Nationally Certified Wannabe

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    What @gonefishing said. As a Basic, you won't be required to identify sinus rhythms or arrhythmias, but being able to distinguish, say, sinus tach from SVT will give you a leg up if you're not planning on staying a Basic.

    I've gotten my EKG certs straight out of Basic class, and when I applied for respectable services, I was looked at differently. But that's all that it got me.
     
  4. NomadicMedic

    NomadicMedic formerly DEmedic

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    It's of no value was a basic, but as others have said it'll give you a leg up when you go to paramedic school.

    I don't know what your educational background is, but if you're itching to learn, you'd be better served with taking a science program at your local community college. Anatomy and physiology, chemistry, or some of the prerequisites for the paramedic program.
     
    Gurby and Qulevrius like this.
  5. Summit

    Summit Critical Crap

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    I found it useful while also taking A&P and patho.

    EKG may be useful when applying to some EDs and services because they will assume if you know how to interpret basic EKG, you probably can get a good capture and have some ability to troubleshoot obvious noise vs lethal rhythms.

    I worked with a paramedic who trusted me to get her a strip and tell her what it was. That's probably a rarity though. of course she was going to check it if the interpretation influenced action.
     
  6. DesertMedic66

    DesertMedic66 Forum Troll

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    No. Since it is not in the scope for the majority of EMTs you are highly unlikely to ever be asked about EKG rhythms during an interview.
     
    NomadicMedic likes this.
  7. NomadicMedic

    NomadicMedic formerly DEmedic

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    Nor would I ever ask a basic to do anything more than maybe place the electrodes for me.
     
    DesertMedic66 likes this.
  8. StCEMT

    StCEMT Forum Deputy Chief

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    I don't think it will be that huge of a deal. I mean as a basic I do set that stuff up and I will look over them myself, but that's because my regular partners know I have already been through medic school and am just in the process of getting switched over. Even then, I still hand it off to them since its their call to make and it has yet to be anything too alarming. It usually ends up being I hand it off telling them its afib, sinus, or whatever. Nothing they cant figure out.

    However, what would be better is just learning how to set everything up for a medic if you are going to work an ALS truck and when they will likely want it ready. That way they can focus on getting information together while you get stuff set up. Usually for me it goes one of three ways. 1. I assess the patient while they talk to staff to gather the info and paperwork (vitals, brief physical exam, etc. at nursing facilities), I pass on what I found, and they will follow up with their own assessment in the back of the truck. 2. I set up the monitor and get vitals while they ask questions. 3. We split up and I assess what appears to be the lower acuity patient if we have multiple people and then again, pass on what I find (MVC). All of those still apply to a strictly BLS truck, but if you want to work ALS and be more ALSish, knowing how to work with your partner and anticipate what they will do will serve you better than knowing basic 12 lead interpretation.
     
  9. EpiEMS

    EpiEMS Forum Deputy Chief

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    This. I have seen more EMTs get in hot water by trying to interpret the EKG (or worse, tell the patient "it's fine" but the paramedic notes a serious abnormality) than anything else (ok, other than driving mistakes).

    I'm happy to place electrodes, and I always ask about the findings/interpretation after the call, but beyond that - it's out of my scope.
     
    NomadicMedic likes this.
  10. NomadicMedic

    NomadicMedic formerly DEmedic

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    I think a learning opportunity after the call is awesome. I've had several EMTs ask me what I saw on the strip, why I did what I did, why I gave the med I gave… That's exactly the way it should be. But not until the call is complete.
     
    StCEMT and EpiEMS like this.
  11. Qulevrius

    Qulevrius Nationally Certified Wannabe

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    It's a rather common thing, especially with good, permanent 1+1 crews. Goes as far as the medic willingly sharing the findings with his Basic partner, when they notice something of an interest. Worth noting that 99.9% of the time the said medics are very humble about themselves and keep repeating that they're just 'EMTs with a slightly broader scope'.
     
    EpiEMS and NomadicMedic like this.
  12. NomadicMedic

    NomadicMedic formerly DEmedic

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    Truth. I'd say in most cases, when I'm working with a BLS partner that I know well and who's skills I'm confident with, I'll let them lead the assessment and only stick my nose in where I'm needed. Last night I ran a sick person with an AEMT I know pretty well. She ran the show, I just looked at the 12 lead. :)

    She said, "thanks for that. Most of the medics here won't let us do anything."

    Eh. You don't get any experience unless you get experience.
     
    Say G, Midazzled and VentMonkey like this.
  13. OhItzJimmy

    OhItzJimmy Forum Crew Member

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    It would be good in a hospital setting
     
  14. VentMonkey

    VentMonkey Crackpot Premium Member

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    Eh, debatable. Most ED/ EKG techs use it to get hired, but doing umpeenth 12-leads on patients all day long does nothing unless you're actually taking the time to learn what all is what (hint: most "arrhythmias" are AF, or artifact).

    Bonus points if you're harassing well versed EM physicians, and/ or cardiologists...then it's worth the investment in that setting.
     
  15. MackTheKnife

    MackTheKnife RN, EMT-P

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    Anything you can do to separate yourself from the rest of the crowd is worth it. Not to mention a lot of people struggle with EKG intrepetation. If you're gonna go paramedic, this is a good head start.
     

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