Telemetry nurses specialize in caring for patients with cardiovascular complications (i.e. heart disease, heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias), neurological issues, and other serious medical conditions that require continuous monitoring via special medical technology. One of the most common medical devices that telemetry nurses use is the electrocardiogram. It's quite common for these nurses to care for patients who are recovering from various forms of cardiac intervention, like a coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery or a cardiac stent. It's important to distinguish ICU nurses and nurses who work in the Cardiac Care Unit from telemetry nurses. Patients who end up on the telemetry floor generally have been transferred there from the ICU and are considered more stable but still require continuous and close monitoring. Telemetry nurses focus on carefully reviewing data derived from monitoring equipment and use it to quickly draw conclusions about a patient's health.
Duties that telemetry nurses are tasked with include:
Telemetry nurses can be found in the following workplace environments:
If you're looking for a career in a nursing specialty that's fast-paced and you think working with high-risk patients would interesting and exciting, telemetry nursing may be a fit for you. In addition to having an entry-level nursing degree and an RN license, prospective telemetry nurses should have a certain amount of clinical training, know how to use electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG) machines, and should have training in advanced cardiac life support.
To become a telemetry nurse, you will first need to enroll in an ADN or BSN program at an accredited university or college. Students with either degree type will be eligible to become a telemetry nurse, although those with BSNs will be preferred candidates. When you have successfully earned a degree and passed the NCLEX-RN exam, you will be an official RN. After gaining your RN license, you should gain a bit of clinical experience as a registered nurse in a telemetry unit. After accumulating some experience in this kind of setting, you can then go on to earn your specialty certification.
Telemetry nurses must at least hold an active and unencumbered RN license and have some clinical experience in the field in order to obtain any of the different numbers of telemetry certifications that exist. It is suited for those who hold ADN or BSN degrees.
There are a few different certifications that fall under the category of ‘telemetry nursing'. The various certifications that one can attain are offered by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and (AACN).
The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) offers the following certifications:
To gain any one of these certifications you will roughly need:
It's possible that the eligibility requirements each certification may change from year to year, so make sure to carefully examine each certification's requirements before you apply.
As of today, telemetry nursing is one of the most in-demand nursing specialties. As telemetry technology continues to progress and as the populous baby boomer generation continues to age, the field of telemetry nursing will only continue to expand.
According to PayScale, the average yearly salary for a telemetry nurse is approximately $60,629. Annual salaries for telemetry nurses will depend on factors like educational level, credentials and certifications, city and state of employment, years of experience, and the employing organizations. Fully employed telemetry nurses are likely to receive benefit packages which generally include things like medical, dental, vision, and more. Telemetry nurses can also expect some annual paid time off as well.