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The Boston Globe
Job Explainer

Telemetry Nurse

Name: Adriene Mansell, 29


Globe Staff Photo/
Essdras Suarez

Employer:
Beverly Hospital, telemetry unit

Education:
Bachelor of science degree in nursing at Fitchburg State

What does a telemetry nurse do?
We assess and take care of patients with heart problems. These include patients who've had heart attacks and catheterizations. We look at ECG's (electrical cardiograph's), and monitor people who have symptoms related to heart complications.

How many patients are there per nurse?
Each nurse is responsible for about four to five patients.

How did you become interested in nursing?
My grandmother was a nurse and my mother is a nurse practitioner. It just seems to be in my blood.

What steered you toward telemetry nursing?
I started as a float nurse working in all departments around the hospital. After observing most of the departments, I found cardiac nursing was more interesting than other areas.

Are there any special skills you need as a telemetry nurse?
You need to be able to read a heart monitor.

Where is the telemetry unit in terms of severity of symptoms?
Patients in the telemetry unit are a step down from intensive care.

What are your hours like?
Right now I work 24 hours a week, which works out great because I get to spend time with my 5-month-old son.

What is the salary?
Between $24-$45 per hour, depending on experience and the hospital in which you work.

In addition to a nursing degree, what other types of certification do you need to work in telemetry?
You need a special certification in advanced cardiac life support. I participated in the North Shore Critical Care program. This program consists of two parts. Part A is for telemetry, and part B is geared toward working in a critical care unit.

What is a typical day at work like?
When I arrive, I see all the patients and make sure their heart monitors don't have any irregularities. Throughout the day I give them their medications. I also make sure they're not symptomatic and keep them from being symptomatic.

What is the most challenging part of your job?
The most challenging aspect is handling the stress level when dealing with patients who don't feel well on a daily basis.

What is the most satisfying part of your job?
Seeing patients get better. You become familiar with the people in a community hospital, and you tend to get to know the people who come in quite often. When you see their progress it is very rewarding.

-ZACHARY BAYROUTY

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