Rapid Interpretation of EKG's 6th Edition -- Love it or Leave it


What is an EKG (electrocardiogram)?
It is a tracing the represents the heart's electrical activity through small electrodes that are placed on a patient's skin. EKG's are quick and painless, and those very tracings, that seem foreign to the untrained eye, provides important information about the patient's heart. EKGs can: check your heart rhythm, see if you have poor blood flow to the heart muscle (ischemia), diagnose a heart attack, and check on things that are abnormal, such as thickened heart muscle. In fact, the EKG is the initial test of choice for those patients that are complaining of chest pain or difficulty breathing.


This past quarter in PA school we took a diagnostic method course. During this course, we focused on learning on how to read EKGs and interpreting imaging. The first part of the course was learning how to interpret EKGs. Over the span of 2-3 weeks, we had a crash course on how to interpret EKGs. Clearly, this is not an ample amount of time to become efficient on interpreting EKGs, but at least, we were able to learn the basics. 

A local cardiologist instructed us on how to interpret EKGs, and on the first day of class, he provided us with a few resources that were found to be super helpful in the past. The resource that stuck out to me the most was "Rapid Interpretation of EKG's: 6th Edition." At first, I was hesitant to buy it because I know my time was limited due to the heavy course load I was taking this quarter, but one of my classmates had the book, and he said that it was very helpful, so I decided to buy the book. 

My thoughts...
I am a very visual learner, and I hate books that are too "textbooky" (if that makes any sense), and to my surprise, this book was the opposite of this! It broke down every aspect of the EKG that you could thing over in a very simple, rudimentary way for the naive learner. Important concepts were reiterated, which I LOVED! I will never forget how to determine the axis because the book stressed interpreting the axis throughout the book. There were various checkpoints throughout the book that had you testing your knowledge, and I was able to determine my strengths and weakness, and this allowed me to go back to certain chapters and focus more on that material.

I highly recommend this book. I honestly do not think I would have done as well if I did not have this book, and I highly recommend this book for those who are starting out learning EKGs. This book is a good reference as well because it explains every aspect of the EKG in its entirety in a very basic manner. I know this book will come in handy, especially on my ER and internal medicine rotations, when I start rotations and when I am practicing.




Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored, and everything that is said in this post is based on my personal opinions. This book worked for me, and I am not guaranteeing the same success for everyone. This was not my only resource for studying EKGs. 

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