Cardiac Pacemakers

Author :  Dr. Stephen Cross & Dr. Peter Clarkson, Consultant Cardiologists

Approximate learning time:  1hr 30min

Course Overview:  A permanent cardiac pacemaker is a small, implantable electronic device that is used to maintain sufficient heart rate when the hearts own natural, intrinsic pacemakers fail. Pacemakers are indicated for use in the treatment of symptomatic bradycardia. They control or replace the heart’s intrinsic electrical activity.

Nurses and other healthcare professionals will encounter patients with cardiac pacemakers across a wide range of disciplines and this course aims to enhance their skills, knowledge and understanding of these devices.

Course Objective:  By the end of the course the student will be able to:
1. Describe the appearances of a normal ECG rhythm.
2. Understand and describe the indications for permanent cardiac pacemakers.
3. Describe the procedure for preparing a patient for permanent cardiac pacemaker implantation.
4. Understand pacemaker codes.
5. Identify pacemaker rhythm on an ECG.
6. Describe and identify common pacemaker malfunctions.
7. Offer a patient evidence based education regarding their cardiac pacemaker.

Author Biography:  Dr Stephen Cross and Dr Peter Clarkson. Both are consultant cardiologists; NHS Highland.

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