Background: Competency in ECG interpretation is an important skill in nursing practice since it leads to the detection of cardiovascular disorders. Incorrect interpretation of ECG findings can result in adverse patient outcomes. There has been no study done to evaluate the competency in ECG interpretation among registered nurses in Nablus, Palestine. The study aimed to assess the basic skills in interpretation of ECG among registered nurses in private and government hospitals in Nablus, Palestine. The study also evaluated the ability of the registered nurses to recognize lethal and non- lethal ECGs arrhythmias.
Method: Cross-sectional design was used. ECG questionnaire contains two parts; the 1st part including demographic data, and the 2nd part including ECG parameters, common ECG’s and lethal ECG. It was distributed to (154) registered nurses in Nablus private hospitals and (146) registered nurse in Nablus governmental hospitals.
Result: Registered nurses in government hospitals have much better ability than registered nurses in private hospitals to conclude the type of arrhythmia by the shape of the ECG figure, but their ability to interpret primary ECG parameters were lower than the ability of the registered nurses in private hospitals. In contrast, the registered nurses in private hospitals have a much better ability than registered nurses in interpreting the primary ECG parameters including heart rate and rhythm.
Conclusion: There is a gap between what had been practiced in private hospitals and in government hospitals regarding nurses’ competency in ECG interpretation.
competency; electrocardiogram (ECG); interpretation; registered nurses; Nablus