What is a Telemetry Nurse?

Once you finish a basic nursing degree, you’ll find a wide range of specializations you can choose from, including working as a pediatric nurse or a telemetry nurse. A pediatric nurse might work in a hospital for children or for a pediatric doctor. They take vital signs, inform doctors of a patient’s symptoms and ensure that kids feel comfortable. Those specializing in telemetry work with patients who need more supervised case because of their injuries or medical conditions.

Who They Work With

This job is best for those who have strong stress management techniques and those who can handle working with extremely ill patients. They often work with patients after those patients leave the intensive care unit. Those patients might include someone recovering from a heart attack, someone who just woke from a coma or an individual who landed in the ICU because of diabetes complications. Nurses working in telemetry units may also work with patients recently diagnosed with diseases who need monitoring before doctors can create their treatment plans. They also work with doctors, nurses and other professionals in their units.

Where They Work

The most common place that you’ll find a telemetry nurse working is in a hospital. The ICU ward is where they take the most severe cases. Once the patients recover but are still not strong enough or healthy enough to go home, the hospital will move those patients to the telemetry ward. These nurses can also work in urgent care centers. Some of the patients who come into these centers need constant care and monitoring until doctors make arrangements to move them to a hospital. A small number work in rehabilitation centers too.

What They Do on the Job

Monitoring is one of the main duties that these nurses perform on the job. When a patient suffers a heart attack or another condition, the nurse will monitor the EKG and other machines in the room to ensure that the patient is healthy and that he or she does not suffer any complications. They are responsible for writing vital signs on the patient’s chart and contacting the doctor in emergency situations. These nurses must also know how to perform CPR. Many hospitals require that they work longer shifts of up to 24 hours and that they have strong communication and organizational skills.

How To Become One

As with other nursing specializations, become a telemetry nurse requires that you get your nursing degree and that you pass the national licensing exam. Also called the National Council Licensure Examination or the NCLEX, this long test requires that you have a strong understanding of nursing and medical topics, including disease prevention, disease treatment, prescription medications and medical ethics and laws. You will need to pass a background check before taking that exam. According to The Campaign for Nursing’s Future, you will also need to pass a progressive care nurse certification exam and gain 1,750 hours of experience in telemetry settings.

Related Resource: Clinical Nurse Specialist

Nurses often work long hours and spend a lot of time with their patients, but those working in telemetry wards work even longer hours. A telemetry nurse monitors patients suffering from severe medical conditions and injuries after those patients leave the ICU and usually work in hospitals and clinical facilities.