An electrical impulse triggers your heart to beat. A drawing of your heart’s beat is called an electrocardiogram (ECG). The pattern of the ECG is the rhythm of your heartbeat. Abnormal heartbeats are called “arrhythmias”.
Telemetry allows your doctors and nurses to watch your ECG 24 hours a day. The small battery pack you carry connects to five stickers (electrodes) on your chest. These sense your heart beat and send the ECG by radio waves to the computer at the nurse’s station.
The nurses and computer watch for arrhythmias. Be sure to tell your nurse any time you have chest pain, fast heart beats (palpitations), or feel dizzy, faint or short of breath.
You can move around in your room and in the hallway, when your nurse tells you it is okay. You need to check with your nurse to see if you are allowed to leave the unit. If you get too far away it may not be possible for your ECG to be monitored.
Check with your nurse to see if it is okay for you to shower. Do not shower with the battery pack on. Be sure to tell your nurse if you are going to take the electrodes or wires off.
Avoid talking on a cell phone while on telemetry. Cell phone signals can get in the way of the ECG signal.
Let your doctor or nurse know if you have questions.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 01/11/2013
Copyright © 09/01/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5144
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