Breaking the Myth About Telemetry

By GeTonya Dickerson, RN
Clinical Nurse Supervisor, Cardiac Telemetry,
Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

I always knew I wanted to be a nurse. In 2005, I joined Methodist Health System as a patient care technician (PCT) while attending nursing school. During my last year of school I signed a contract with Methodist. It was great for me because I got paid while I was finishing my education, and I had a job for two years after graduation.

When we built a house in Mansfield, I looked at the options available at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center. The available position was in telemetry, but I was afraid of learning rhythms and that made me uncomfortable caring for cardiac patients. Also, I heard nurses say that telemetry nursing was more difficult than med-surg because the patients were sicker with higher acuity levels.

I’m glad I decided not listen to the other nurses and to take a chance with telemetry. I’m thankful that Methodist Mansfield gave me the chance to become a telemetry nurse. From the start, they assured me that I wasn’t alone, and they would provide the additional training and backup resources I would need to be successful. I became certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and attended a dysrhythmia class. I found it reassuring to have monitor techs available in the monitoring room to provide backup around the clock. And in times of crisis, I knew I had the support of the charge nurse and other nursing staff. Teamwork is a tradition at Methodist, and it shows as evidenced by our achievement of Pathways to Excellence®, Chest Pain Center with PCI accreditation by the Society of Chest Pain Centers, and a Best Place to Work eight years in a row by the Dallas Business Journal.

What’s so ironic is that what I at first feared about the job is actually what I enjoy most. I’m proud that I work in a specialty area that requires more of me as a nurse. I have to maintain my certifications and keep up on the latest advances in cardiac telemetry. I also enjoy working with critically ill patients. Because most of these patients receive intravenous medication drips and specialized cardiac drugs, I have to monitor each drug differently. There are certain side effects that are unique to each drug and some side effects that are common to all of the drugs. So I monitor the patient and his or her telemetry for signs of potential problems.

After receiving a report from the previous shift, I conduct patient rounds, review their charts and rhythms, and gather the required medications to administer. When I review patient rhythms, I look for abnormalities or arrhythmias.

I feel that telemetry has prepared me to provide better care for patients with a variety of diagnoses. Because many of the patients entering the hospital suffer from some type of cardiac issue, being certified in telemetry helps me be more confident as a nurse for the vast majority of patients for whom I provide care.

Being a telemetry nurse is both challenging and rewarding. I absolutely love working here and in 2011, true to Methodist’s commitment to promoting from within, I was advanced to my current position as clinical nurse supervisor.

I love working at Methodist Mansfield because they believe in the culture of ALWAYS. We will ALWAYS be there for our patients and we will ALWAYS be there for each other.

If you’re ready to fall in love with a new career, maybe you should consider Methodist. Learn more by visiting Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.

© Methodist Health System

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