Book Review: Rapid Interpretation of EKGs

Rapid Interpretation of EKGsDale Dubin is my hero. The hospital where I work requires RNs to read their own rhythm strips. I had plenty of trouble with EKGs when I was in nursing school, and Dale Dubin’s Rapid Interpretation of EKGs got me through my EKG exams. Not just EKG reading, but understanding the physiology of the heart’s electrical and muscular systems. Dale put it all in context and made it understandable. For the nursing school tests.

But as many things are in life, use it or lose it. So when I started with my current employer I was rusty, to say the least. Enter, 3-day mandatory EKG class. 24 classroom hours. 24 hours of monotone lecture. 24 hours of precisely measuring P-R intervals and QRSs, ‘marching out’ R-Rs to determine regularity… By the end of the class my head was spinning and I was getting PVCs confused with RVRs and BBBs mixed up with 2ndº Type 2 blocks.

Just in time for my employer’s mandated EKG exam, I stumbled across my old friend, Dale Dubin’s Rapid Interpretation of EKGs. A few hours pouring over his easy to understand and memorable pages, and click! I was good to go. If squiggly EKG lines make your head spin, Dubin’s book is the single resource you need to get it under control. Now I step up to the monitor screen with confidence, occasionally calling the monitor techs to ask something like, is room 454 really having a L BBB and bigeminy PACs? And when they answer affirmatively, I confidently call cardiology to discuss this new onset rhythm. The ortho docs glance up from their charts to nod affirmatively at the new nurse spouting EKG fluency, grin, and return to their charts with renewed confidence that the 4th floor nurses really are pretty darn incredible.

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