ECG Made Easy: ECG Simplified

If you are an aspiring nursing student or a professional who wants to refresh your memory with ECG procedures, here are some ECG made easy tips that you can use to learn about a thing or two about electrocardiography.

Electrocardiography uses a device called electrocardiogram which is a diagnostic tool to assess the cardiovascular system (heart rhythmic pattern). It is a way to understand the electrical activity of an individual’s heart in a specific amount of time. It is a noninvasive procedure where certain electrodes (conductors) are attached to specific areas in the transthoracic area (across the chest) to study the electrical activity of an individual’s heart.

To give you a brief and simple explanation on how a person’s heart work:

The upper area of the heart is called the atrium and the lower (and the bigger part) of it is called the ventricle. In between these chambers lies the heart valve, a small structure with a flap to make sure that there is only a one-way flow from one chamber to another. This heart valve is the structure that controls the blood that comes in the atriums and into the ventricles, making sure that once the blood reaches the ventricular chamber, it will not go back to the atrium chamber.

Here are some ECG made easy tricks that you can use to understand the process of electrocardiography with the use of the ECG machine:

Now that you have an idea on how the heart works, it is now time for you to know how the ECG machine detects heart activity and how you can interpret these printouts for you to explain and understand whether there is an abnormality in an individual’s heart or not. Just remember that when interpreting an ECG reading, the letters P, Q, R, S and T are the five best letters that you should pick from the alphabet. These letters have a certain position and meaning in the ECG interpretation. The P phase (also known as the P wave) is the initial electrical impulse that represents atrial muscle depolarization which is related to atrium contraction. QRS complex represents ventricular muscle depolarization which is related to ventricular contraction. Q wave is where the first negative deviation after the P wave occurs. On the other hand, it is the R wave where the first positive deviation after the P wave occurs. Following the R wave is the S wave, where you will find the first negative deviation after the R wave. The T wave, however, is where ventricular muscle repolarization takes place (also known as the resting stage). It is a part of the cardiac cycle following the QRS complex and has the same direction as the QRS complex as well.

The whole process then goes back to P phase where it will start a new electrical activity.

Learning the ECG procedure may be a little difficult at first but once you know the basic and the fundamental process, you will realize that ECG interpretation is fun and easy to learn. If you think that to interpret an ECG printout needs a genius to decipher its meaning, you may want to think again. Go over this article again and you will realize how easy it is to understand the electrocardiography. There you go, ECG made easy.


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