For the first 10 or so years of my cardiac nursing career, I was not comfortable interpreting 12-lead electrocardiograms (ECGs). I wanted to be able to decipher them, so I tried to learn but understanding them always seemed unattainable. I took multiple classes with different instructors. I spent a clinical rotation as part of my clinical nurse specialist program focusing on ECG interpretation with a cardiology nurse practitioner, to no avail. I could not tell a left from a right bundle branch block and axis deviation seemed like gibberish. Finally, the instructor for the 12-lead ECG program at my hospital retired, and as the cardiac intensive care unit clinical nurse specialist/educator, I was asked to take over teaching the class. I agreed (with trepidation) and spent months consulting various sources to reeducate myself. Preparing to teach is what it took for me to really learn the concepts of 12-lead...
To Learn, Try Teaching
Sara Knippa, MS, RN, ACCNS-AG, CCRN, PCCN, is the column’s content expert. Sara is a clinical nurse specialist/educator in the cardiac intensive care unit at University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, Colorado. She welcomes feedback from readers and practice questions from potential contributors at email@example.com. Sara wrote the introduction.
Emily Cohu, MS, APRN, ACCNS-AG, CCRN, is a critical care clinical nurse specialist at St. Mary’s Medical Center, Grand Junction, Colorado. Emily wrote the CCRN review questions.
Lori Baas Rubarth, PhD, APRN-NP, NNP-BC, is a professor at Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, and the track lead for the neonatal nurse practitioner program. She practices as a neonatal nurse practitioner at 3 facilities in Omaha. Lori wrote the neonatal CCRN review questions.
Sara Knippa, Emily Cohu, Lori Baas Rubarth; To Learn, Try Teaching. Crit Care Nurse 1 February 2023; 43 (1): 67–71. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/ccn2023924
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