Accuracy of cardiac monitoring is an important component of patient safety in hospitalized patients who meet the criteria for dysrhythmia monitoring. Quality dysrhythmia monitoring requires nurses to have high levels of knowledge and skill for accuracy and effective clinical decision-making. Inaccurate placement of electrodes can affect the morphology (shape) of the QRS complex and result in misinterpretation of a rhythm.

Ensure proper placement of and proper skin preparation for electrocardiography (ECG) electrodes.

Individualize limits on alarm settings on the basis of the goals of patient care.

Do not transport patients for diagnostic testing who have a corrected QT interval (QTc) of 0.50 seconds or greater.

Document the onset and offset of new dysrhythmias.

Select the best monitoring leads for identifying dysrhythmia according to the needs of the patient (display 2 leads when possible).

Obtain 12-lead ECG in a stable wide complex tachycardia to provide additional information to aid in interpretation....

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