I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and if you are working today that you keep safety in mind and know that even though I am in the same line of work as you, that I am thankful for your sacrifice today.
I am also thankful for you as my member and for reading, listening and watching the content I put out there on the inter webs.
Mostly we see Sinus Rhythms, Sinus Brady, Sinus Tach, some PSVT and the PVC's.
We can hunt for axis deviation, LVH and others that can help us delve deeper into our patients EKG.
We do twelve leads looking for STEMI's or "just because" and can even lead us into looking at EKG's we did not expect to see.
Once in awhile we do see those 2nd and third degree blocks or the global ST elevation that lends us to the Pericarditis diagnosis.
These last few and others we don't see everyday in EMS. Yet when we do we know there is something amiss
But knowing there is and knowing what you are looking at is vital in treating your patient, withholding treatment if need be and also knowing what hospital to transport them too.
It is our responsibility to know what we we see on an ECG, be confident in identifying what we see and moving to a treatment and transport plan.
You can have all the education in the world. But of you don't keep refreshing your knowledge on EKG rhythms. When that Third Degree block is staring at you it might have you second guessing yourself.
That's no good for the patient obviously.
The good news is that when we do EKGs on a regular basis we get to see what normal is. Normal for a 20 year old and even normal for older patients on certain meds or with certain histories.
This way when we do see that unusual EKG it will immediately throw up that red flag that something is different and needs more attention.
There are many resources online to practice EKG reading. These days you see many on Facebook etc that go into these crazy EKG strips that try and trick you into thinking it is a V-tach or STEMI when it ends up beng some obscure rhythm.
Those are a great challenge but you must know and master the basics first.
I am partial to the resource on the site that does just that. It will have you mastering the basics of EKG rhythms from Normal Sinus and Third Degree Block to truly understanding P waves, QRS complexes and more.