Telemetry nurses care for patients who are suffering from various health problems such as heart failure, diabetes, kidney disease, sleep apnea and cardiovascular complications just to name a few.
Telemetry nurses may also care for patients who have recently gone through a surgical operation or are in intensive care.
While these nurses are known for their expertise in managing and interpreting vital signs from various medical equipment such as heart monitors and electrocardiographs telemetry nurses are educators and spend a good amount of time educating their patients about their medical conditions to help them make better lifestyle choices through, diet, rest and exercise combined with medication & rehabilitation programs designed to help patients alleviate or eliminate the health problems that are causing their health care issues.
Although patients may stay at a health facility for more than a week telemetry nurses see many different patients within a short amount of time, so patient education is extremely important to the health care of the patients they treat, especially upon their release from the facility at which point the patients education and lifestyle habits will be entirely their responsibility and a vital component in their future health care.
Aside from educating patients about their medical condition telemetry nurses are also responsible for various medical tasks such as:
- Monitoring patient vital signs through the use of medical equipment such as heart monitors, electrocardiographs & oxygen monitors.
- Delivering various medications (some patients may receive up to 10 different medications)
- Recording patient’s health status and keeping medical records up to date.
- Managing patient recovery through physical exercise & activities, recovery assessments, dietary monitoring and bedside care.
- Assisting doctors with developing individual treatment plans for each patient.
Those who work as telemetry nurses must take a number of continuing education courses and receive training on new equipment in order to ensure that they are able to perform their job effectively and efficiently while ultimately providing the best care possible for their patients.
Becoming a telemetry nurse
In terms of requirements for becoming a telemetry nurses most states requires potential nurses to first become a registered nurse and obtain training in basic life support & advanced cardiac life support along with a number of other certification courses related to the critical care field.
Note: The best way to find out exactly what certifications you will need to take in order to qualify for a position as a telemetry nurse is to ask the facility or telemetry unit you are interested in working for what their requirements are.
It is also recommended and possibly required that potential telemetry nurses become certified as a critical care registered nurse (CCRN) or progressive care critical nurse (PCCN) by acquiring the necessary amount of hours in the acute care field and taking the CCRN/PCCN exam in order to earn their certification.
Salary & career outlook
In the United States telemetry nurses may earn a salary of $50,000 – $150,000 per year depending on the state they work in, their level education and training, current position (higher positions generally lead to increased pay), negotiated salary and perks, bonuses & incentives that are received throughout the year.
In terms of career outlook the field of nursing is continually growing and with the gap between nurses and patients constantly expanding the demand for telemetry nurses and other nursing professions will continue to grow.
By the year 2020 it is estimated that as many as 800,000 jobs will need to be filled by those who work in the nursing field which means more career opportunities, increased pay & better benefits for new and existing nurses across the board.