ECGs Part 2

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It’s incredible how quickly things can change in just a matter of two weeks. The last blog I wrote about ECGs was an introduction, for myself as well as for you readers. I’m happy to say that I’m now half way through the course and everything is going well. I’ve developed the skills so that I can look at an ECG and immediately detect abnormalities, which is a pretty cool feeling considering they used to just look like a bunch of squiggly lines. I’m still very much a beginner and learning to train my eyes, but I know it’ll get easier with time and practice. It helps that I find my work immensely fascinating, the amount of cardiac conditions that can be detected through ECGs is remarkable.

I mentioned before that part of the Cardiology Technology program is to bring in our own guests to practice performing ECGs on. Unfortunately because I’m not from the Lower Mainland (and have been living here for less then a year) I don’t have many people to ask to help me out. Thankfully my classmates have been really great with sharing their family and friends with us out-of-townees. I did however, get the chance to bring in my boyfriend for a lab day, which was really fun. It was a great excuse to show him around the school and introduce him to some of my classmates. I performed six different types of ECGs on him, which gave him a better understanding of what I’ve been learning at school, as well as what the main job in my career will be. It just so happened that he ended up being my 50th ECG, which means I’ve already met the target amount for this course.

When I first found out that all through the summer classes would extend into Saturday, I never really knew what to expect. I thought it would be another day of waking up early and racking my brain through a lecture but I was wrong. We start an hour later, campus is a lot quieter, the elevators are empty, and everyone seems to be more relaxed. Another benefit is because there are so many guests, we ourselves do not have to take turns as patients. This means more ECGs done in less time and more practice with different people. Adding variety to our patients is really important because the lead placement varies drastically with different body types. It also gives a more realistic approach to the task at hand by working with people we don’t know. It helps test our people skills and ability to keep patients informed and at ease.

Now that the ECG course is half way over, my class and I recently finished the first portion, ECG interpretation for the most common leads utilized in the workplace. The second half of the course is focused on pacemaker studies and pacemaker ECGs. They are similar in nature but it’s like learning a different dialect to our new-found language. Every day of school seems to be slightly more challenging then the last, so needless to say I am definitely looking forward to a mental break. There are three more weeks left in “year one” which is immediately followed by a much anticipated week-long vacation. I can’t wait and I can only hope there won’t be any homework!

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