Master EKG interpretation for the NCLEX exam with these 5 easy steps:
The first step in EKG interpretation is determining the regularity (also known as the rhythm) of the strip. This should be done by using the R waves. For clarification on where to locate the R waves in an EKG strip, refer to the article written here. The regularity of an EKG strip can be determined using one of two techniques.
The second step in EKG interpretation is calculating the heart rate. This step can also be performed in one of two ways.
When examining the P waves, make sure all criteria are met:
Determine the PR interval by measuring from the beginning of the P wave (as it leaves the baseline) and to the beginning of the QRS complex. (Learn more about the PR interval here). Count the number of small squares within the interval then multiply by 0.04 seconds.
Determine the QRS complex by measuring from the beginning of the Q (as it leaves the baseline) and to the end of the S.  (Learn more about the QRS complex here). Count, the number of small squares within the interval then multiply by 0.04 seconds.
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