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Cardiac Rhythm Interpretation Testing (3.16)

Cardiac Rhythm Interpretation Testing (3.16) - Policies, Administrative, UWHC, Department Specific, Nursing Administrative, Education, Training and Research

3.16

POLICY & PROCEDURE





Effective Date:
January 1, 2016

Administrative Manual
 Nursing Manual
 Other _______________

Policy #:
3.16

 Original
 Revision

Page 1
Of

Title:
Cardiac Rhythm Interpretation Testing


I. PURPOSE
A. To establish a standardized educational and training requirement for roles that require the
skill of cardiac rhythm interpretation. These roles include: Registered Nurse,
Cardiovascular Technicians, Emergency Department Technicians, and Exercise Physiologists
II. PERSONS AFFECTED
A. This policy applies to all Registered Nurses, Exercise Physiologists, Emergency
Department Technicians, and Cardiovascular Technicians, and other job titles as deemed
appropriate by area directors, whose role requires the skill of cardiac rhythm
interpretation.
III. POLICY
A. The cardiac rhythm interpretation competency examination is planned, created,
implemented, and administered by Education and Development for Nursing and Patient
Care Services and is administered upon hire and each calendar year. Each clinician is
required to receive a minimum overall passing score of 80% or higher and will be able to
recognize 100% of the designated lethal rhythms. Completion terms are in accordance to
policy 3.25 Department of Nursing Competency Assessment Process.

IV.PROCEDURE
A. Upon Hire
i. New Staff Registered Nurses, Exercise Physiologists, Emergency Department
Technicians, and Cardiovascular Technicians who have not not had the
education to interpret cardiac rhythms upon hire, will be required to take the
Basic Arrhythmia class offered here at UWHC. A minimum passing score of
80% overall and 100% recognition of designated lethal rhythms is required for
successful completion of the course. Each person will get up to three attempts
to pass the exam. Upon the first failure the employee will be responsible for
contacting a designated individual to set up a time for remediation and a date to
re-test. The date for re-testing must be within, but no later than, two weeks
from notification of failure. He/she will not be permitted to independently care
for patients who require cardiac rhythm interpretation until they successfully
pass the exam. If a person fails on his/her second attempt, he/she will be
responsible for setting up remediation and a date to re-test with a different
designated individual. The date for the third attempt will be within, but no later
than, four weeks from notice of the second failure. The date for all retesting
will not occur on the same date as the initial remediation unless deemed

POLICY & PROCEDURE





Effective Date:
January 1, 2016

Administrative Manual
 Nursing Manual
 Other _______________

Policy #:
3.16

 Original
 Revision

Page 2
Of

Title:
Cardiac Rhythm Interpretation Testing


appropriate by the Education and Development for Nursing and Patient Care
Services Department Upon failure of the third exam, the manager may choose
to terminate the employee or discuss available options with Human Resources
which may include transferring to a unit that does not require cardiac rhythm
interpretation skills or re-taking the Basic Arrhythmia course. If the decision is
made to have the employee re-take the course, the employee must pass the test
at the end of the course on the first attempt. If they are not successful, the
manager may choose to terminate the employee or transfer them to a unit that
does not require cardiac rhythm interpretation. Previous completion of ACLS,
PALS, etc. is not acceptable as a demonstration of this competency
ii. In the event that a newly hired Staff Registered Nurse, Exercise Physiologist
Emergency Department Technician, or Cardiovascular Technician has
experience with interpreting cardiac rhythms, they may attempt to test out by
taking the initial comprehensive Cardiac Rhythm Interpretation Exam upon
hire or take the two day Basic Arrhythmia Class. Upon the first failure the
employee will be responsible for contacting a designated individual to set up a
time for remediation and a date to re-test. The date for re-testing must be
within, but no later than, two weeks from notification of failure. He/she will
not be permitted to independently care for patients who require cardiac
monitoring until they successfully pass the exam. If a person fails on his/her
second attempt, he/she will be responsible for setting up remediation and a date
to re-test with a different designated individual. The date for the third attempt
will be within, but no later than, four weeks from notice of the second failure.
The date for all retesting will not occur on the same date as the initial
remediation unless deemed appropriate by the Education and Development for
Nursing and Patient Care Services Department. Upon failure of the third exam,
the manager may choose to terminate the employee or discuss available options
with Human Resources which may include transferring to a unit that does not
require cardiac rhythm interpretation skills or re-taking the Basic Arrhythmia
course. If the decision is made to have the employee re-take the course, the
employee must pass the test at the end of the course on the first attempt. If they
are not successful, the manager may choose to terminate the employee or
transfer them to a unit that does not require cardiac rhythm interpretation.
Previous completion of ACLS, PALS, etc. is not acceptable as a demonstration
of this competency.

POLICY & PROCEDURE





Effective Date:
January 1, 2016

Administrative Manual
 Nursing Manual
 Other _______________

Policy #:
3.16

 Original
 Revision

Page 3
Of

Title:
Cardiac Rhythm Interpretation Testing


iii. Traveling and Agency Registered Nurses who will be working on units that
require cardiac rhythm interpretation are required to take the Annual Cardiac
Rhythm Interpretation Competency Examination at the end of their first day of
New Employee Orientation and are required to receive a minimum overall
score of 80% or higher and 100% recognition of designated rhythms.
If a passing score is not achieved on the first day of New Employee Orientation,
he/she will be remediated and will be required to return the following morning
for a second attempt at passing the test. If a passing score is not achieved upon
the second attempt, his/her contract will be terminated at that time. In special
circumstances, Managers of the hiring unit may allow the nurse to come back to
UWHC for the next New Employee Orientation session if he/she takes a rhythm
interpretation course on personal time and provides proof of passing the course.
A new contract would be required and the employee would then be required to
pass the UWHC Annual Cardiac Rhythm Interpretation Competency Exam on
their first attempt. If they fail on the first attempt, their contract will not be
fulfilled. Previous completion of ACLS, PALS, etc. is not acceptable as a
demonstration of this competency.

B. Annual Competency Examination
i. Each calendar year, Registered Nurses, Exercise Physiologists, Emergency
Department Technicians, and Cardiovascular Technicians are required to take
the Annual Cardiac Rhythm Interpretation Competency Examination and
receive a minimum overall score of 80% or higher and 100% recognition of
designated lethal rhythms. If the employee has taken the exam less than one
year prior, but was in the previous calendar year, they are still required to take
the examination since it is a new calendar year. Each person will get up to three
attempts to pass the exam. Upon the first failure the employee will be
responsible for contacting a designated individual to set up a time for
remediation and a date to re-test. The date for re-testing must be within, but no
later than, two weeks from notification of failure. He/she will not be permitted
to independently care for patients who require cardiac rhythm interpretation
until they successfully pass the exam. If a person fails on his/her second
attempt, he/she will be responsible for setting up remediation and a date to re-
test with a different designated individual. The date for the third attempt will be
within, but no later than, four weeks from notice of the second failure. The date

POLICY & PROCEDURE





Effective Date:
January 1, 2016

Administrative Manual
 Nursing Manual
 Other _______________

Policy #:
3.16

 Original
 Revision

Page 4
Of

Title:
Cardiac Rhythm Interpretation Testing


for all retesting will not occur on the same date as the initial remediation unless
deemed appropriate by the Education and Development for Nursing and Patient
Care Services Department Upon failure of the third attempt at the exam, the
manager may choose to terminate the employee or discuss available options
with Human Resources which may include transferring to a unit that does not
require cardiac rhythm interpretation skills. The manager may choose to have
the employee re-take the two day Basic Arrhythmia course and demonstrate
successful completion. If the decision is made to have the employee re-take the
course, the employee must pass the test at the end of the course on the first
attempt. If they are not successful, the manager may choose to terminate the
employee or transfer them to a unit that does not require cardiac rhythm
interpretation. .
ii. Each calendar year, Local Agency Nurses are required to take the Annual
Cardiac Rhythm Interpretation Competency Examination and receive a
minimum overall score of 80% or higher and 100% recognition of designated
lethal rhythms. If the employee has taken the exam less than one year prior, but
the date was in the previous calendar year, they are still required to take the
examination, since it is a new calendar year. Exceptions may be made by the
Director of the employee’s department if the employee has less than four weeks
left of his/her contract here at UWHC and will not be extending his/her
employment. Each person will get up to three attempts to pass the exam. Upon
the first failure, the employee will be responsible for contacting a designated
individual to set up a time for remediation and a date to re-test. The date for re-
testing must be within, but no later than, two weeks from notification of failure.
He/She will not be permitted to independently care for patients who require
cardiac rhythm interpretation until they successfully pass the exam. If a person
fails on his/her second attempt, his/her contract will be terminated at that time.
iii. Each Calendar year, Traveling Nurses will need to re-take the Annual Cardiac
Rhythm Interpretation Competency Examination. If the employee has taken the
exam less than one year prior, but the date was in the previous calendar year,
they are still required to take the examination, since it is a new calendar year.
Exceptions may be made by the Director of the employee’s department if the
employee has less than four weeks left of his/her contract here at UWHC and
will not be extending his/her employment. Upon the first failure, the employee
will be responsible for contacting a designated individual to set up a time for

POLICY & PROCEDURE





Effective Date:
January 1, 2016

Administrative Manual
 Nursing Manual
 Other _______________

Policy #:
3.16

 Original
 Revision

Page 5
Of

Title:
Cardiac Rhythm Interpretation Testing


remediation and a date to re-test. The date for re-testing must be within, but no
later than, two weeks from notification of failure. He/she will not be permitted
to independently care for patients who require cardiac rhythm interpretation
until they successfully pass the exam. If a person fails on his/her second
attempt, his/her contract will be terminated at that time.


V. AUTHORED BY:
A. Directory of Education & Development, Nursing & Patient Care Services

VI. REVIEWED BY:
A. Nursing Administrative Policy & Procedure Committee, January 2016
B. Nursing Education and Development, January 2016


SIGNED BY:

Beth Houlahan DNP, RN, CENP
Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services
Chief Nursing Officer