As a telemetry nurse, you’ll care for patients who need constant monitoring for cardiac, respiratory, gastrointestinal, or renal issues. Telemetry nursing is an exciting field for travel nurses, especially newer graduates, as this fast-paced, busy atmosphere allows for continual learning and valuable experience.
Successful telemetry nurses are astute, confident, and compassionate. They act quickly in emergencies, balance multiple responsibilities, advocate for their patients, and communicate effectively with providers. They have strong assessment skills and are prepared to jump into action should a patient’s condition decline.
Telemetry nurses receive patients who have been recently stabilized and stepped down from intensive care to progressive care. The patients have often just had surgery, or they might have heart problems, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, renal failure, COPD, advanced cancer, or other conditions which require monitoring. Cardiac patients they treat may have had a heart attack, heart transplant, stent, atrial fibrillation, heart valve disease, or coronary artery disease.
During a typical day, a telemetry nurse will admit transfers out of the ICU or CCU, administer medications and IV fluids, perform diagnostic testing, monitor vital signs, interpret telemetry data, treat patients in case of emergency, and educate patients and families. Monitoring includes using telemetry devices that measure heart rhythm, blood pressure, oxygen levels, respiration, electrolytes, etc.
Telemetry nurses must be skilled at basic and advanced life support and must know cardiac rhythms. They must be able to recognize cardiac and respiratory distress and to begin interventions immediately for their patients.
To become a telemetry nurse, you must graduate with either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited nursing school. You will then need to become licensed as a registered nurse (RN). Many healthcare facilities prefer to hire nurses who have a progressive care nursing certification (PCCN). Additionally, telemetry nurses need certification in basic life support (BLS) and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS). There are also sub-specializations for telemetry nurses that include med-surg, acute, critical, and cardiac care.
Telemetry nurses work in hospitals, outpatient facilities, clinics, or in-home care. They are often based in the step down from ICU which is referred to as intermediate care, direct observation, transitional care, step-down, or telemetry unit. Depending on location, credentials, and specialization, telemetry travel nursing salary ranges from $49,500 to $95,500 per year (PayScale).
Telemetry nurses are in demand due to shortages of ICU beds and the need for healthcare facilities to use progressive care. This nursing specialty is also evolving to include a broader range of patients due to advances in technology. Connect with one of our travel nursing recruiters at Contact Cross Country TravCorps to join this rapidly growing field and find your ideal travel job today.
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