Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Telemetry Nurse?
A telemetry nurse works with patients struggling with heart disease, heart failure, and other cardiac conditions. To understand a telemetry nurse, you have to understand the term telemetry, which comes from the words tele meaning “remote” and metron meaning “measure.”
Thus, a telemetry nurse monitors patients using remote electronic signals and specialized equipment. They monitor patients’ progress, provide medical care, and provide specific cardiac interventions in an emergency.
National average salary: $107,536 per year
Job outlook: 7% increase
Where Do Telemetry Nurses Work?
As their name states, telemetry nurses work in the telemetry unit of a hospital. These units provide care for patients leaving the intensive care unit (UCI) that still require consistent monitoring. In the telemetry unit, patients are more stable but even need close monitoring should their situation change.
Sometimes, telemetry nurses also find work in outpatient surgery centers and long-term care facilities. Other medicine areas may also employ a telemetry unit, so nurses may find themselves working with sleep clinics or neurological units.
What Kind of Patients Are On A Telemetry Unit?
The telemetry unit receives a wide range of patients. Most patients need telemetry monitoring, particularly those with a history of high blood pressure, stroke, or a heart attack. Patients in this unit have a high turnout rate because most patients are already stepping down from a more intense level of care.
What Does a Telemetry Nurse Do?
In short, telemetry nurses provide care for patients with cardiovascular issues and related consequences. They perform frequent patient assessments to watch for any changes. This includes measuring blood pressure, levels of consciousness, and breathing patterns.
Telemetry nurses also operate heart monitoring equipment, perform diagnostic tests, and follow protocols to treat chest pain. Most of the time, nurses also assist with procedures like cardioversions and other procedures performed in the telemetry unit. However, their biggest responsibility is recognizing and responding to cardiac emergencies quickly.
The telemetry nurse has a mixture of responsibilities that include registered nurse duties and technical skills to monitor patients’ health.
Most responsibilities include:
- Caring for cardiac patients
- Using electronic equipment like an echocardiogram (EKG) and breathing machines to monitor patients
- Looking for cardiac baseline changes, arrhythmias, and abnormalities
- Responding to irregularities
- Performing stress tests
- Administering IVs and medications
- Monitoring telemetry units of hospitals
- Assisting cardiologists throughout cardiac procedures
- Using diagnostic tests to evaluate patients’ cardiac health