I have always been interested in the field of emergency medicine. So much so that when I was only 17 years old I took my first emergency medical technician (EMT) course. I started working as an EMT soon after. I spent many years working in the field and responding to emergency calls within my community. I worked hard to maintain my knowledge of my local, state and national protocols that dictated the appropriate care for the people I served. However, to truly serve my community and the individuals that were calling on me at their most vulnerable times I can’t just regurgitate the same information. The Basic life support (BLS) skills that I learned from my EMT course were great fundamentals, but I always knew they were just the stepping stone to something more advanced. As a certified electrocardiogram technician (CET) I will have the expanded knowledge to better serve my community and improve my understanding of the life-saving interventions involved in emergency medicine.
I have assisted with hundreds of thousands of 12-Lead electrocardiograms (ECGs) in the ten years that I’ve been working in emergency medicine. Before I took this course at the Critical Care Training Center I was not able to understand the various waveforms that presented on the ECGs that I assisted with. My knowledge base was limited which meant my ability to serve my patients was limited. A patient would be brought into the Emergency Room for Sinus Ventricular Tachycardia (SVT) and I’d have an extended interaction with the patient from taking their initial ECG to charting their rhythm strips and setting up all the equipment to allow the nurse and doctors to defibrillate the patients heart to taking all their follow-up ECGs. I was never able to sufficiently explain to my patient why we are doing certain things or the motivation behind pacing their heart, which could go a long way in easing my patients mind about the procedure about to take place. I now have a much more extensive understanding of the cardiovascular physiology and I can accurately interpret ECGs among many other things. Now I can explain to my patients that their chest pain is due to the electrical conduction of their heart which is presenting as sinus ventricular tachycardia (SVT). This rhythm is unsustainable and needs to be addressed immediately so that their condition doesn’t get progressively worst and that is why the doctors and nurses are taking these steps to use the automated external defibrillator (AED) to correct the cause. I will be able to alleviate some of my patients concerns not only by being able to more accurately explain to them what is happening, but, also, by assuring them that I have the training and knowledge to appropriately care for them.
I entered the field of emergency medicine because I care about my community, I love serving people, and I have the skills to keep a level head in a critical/ life-or-death situation. In the many years that I’ve spent working in this field one of the few things I learned was that there is no limit to knowledge. There is always something new to learn and it can only be a benefit. This EKG monitor technician course has taught me a lot about the cardiological field including the various lead monitors and their anatomical locations, the various heart rhythms and their electrical waveform presentation and simply how to read a 12-Lead ECG. I know this new information will help me better serve my community.