Course Description

This course is designed to acquaint the physical therapist and physical therapist assistant with basic knowledge regarding monitoring of heart rate, rhythm and common dysrhythmias utilizing an electrocardiogram (EKG). EKG alterations during myocardial ischemia and infarction will be covered. Differentiation of the EKG alterations and dysrhythmia’s will be categorized into non-threatening, potentially dangerous or life-threatening events. Correlation to hemodynamic changes e.g. pulse palpation, arterial line, Swan-Ganz catheter and heart sounds will also be covered. EKG’s will be presented relevant to various patient populations.

Solution Detail Image


After you complete this course, you should be able to:

  • Interpret the heart rate and rhythm for the various EKG strips given.
  • Discriminate between non-threatening, potentially dangerous or life-threatening events as revealed by an EKG.
  • Interpret common signs/symptoms of hemodynamic instability related to dysrhythmias.
  • List three (3) common mechanisms by which dysrhythmias arise.
  • Draw or recognize these basic arrhythmias, know which ones are more hazardous and what to do as the PT or PTA.
    • bradycardia
    • tachycardia
    • atrial and ventricular flutter
    • atrial and ventricular fibrillation
    • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree conduction
    • blocks
      • pre-atrial contraction – PAC
      • pre-nodal or junctional contraction-PNC
      • pre-ventricular contraction- PVC
    • bigeminy, trigeminy, quadrigeminy
    • escape beats-atrial, nodal and ventricular
  • Determine the amount of ST depression and know its significance
  • Explain how dysrhythmias may affect aerobic capacity


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