Before rooming patient, sanitize hands make sure you have the electrodes ready for the feeds and paper for the printer. If possible detangle feeds prior to rooming a patient. Check expiration dates.
Although EKG is an invasive procedure. You need to make sure you have the right patient by checking the patient’s name and date of birth. Advise the patient that they will need to remove their shirt & bra if they have one. You may give the patient something to cover up till you return to perform the procedure.
Once the patient is ready, explain the procedure to the patient. Ask patient if they’ve used any lotion or body oils as this can prevent the electrodes from sticking. If they have used alcohol swabs to cleanse the areas where you will be sticking the electrodes. Some men are hairier than others. Although some guide say to shave the area, you can part the hair and the electrodes will still stick
When placing electrodes think about where your clips are going to be. The collar bone and count 3 intercostal spaces down. Near the breastbone. Then place another on the opposite side of the breastbone. The one on the patient’s left is called V2. Next electrode goes just under the patient’s left breast in line with the nipple. This one is referred to as V4. Make sure it is not on the rib. Next electrode is about halfway between V2 & V4. Place the next electrode in line with V4 but under the armpit. This one is referred to as V6. Then place and electrode halfway between V4 & V6. Then place an electrode on each upper arm and one on each lower leg.
Now for the fun part of connecting the clips in order of V1 – V6, L. arm, R. arm, L. leg and R. leg. Have the patient relax and tuck their hands under their butt to prevent moving or fidgeting while running the EKG. Drape cords on patient don’t leave them hanging as that will pull tabs off the patient.
The procedure doesn’t last long. Once done you can ask the patient if they want to remove them or have you do it. They can tear skin or pull hair so remove with care. Use alcohol swabs to clean up residue.