**NCLEX Study Notes: Common EKG/ECG Rhythms**

## EKG/ECG for Nursing Students: How To Read An Electrocardiogram

Following the steps below will allow ease with interpretation of arrhythmias. Analyzing strips in this order and reviewing these 5 aspects will allow for correct identification of cardiac rhythms.

Rate

P Waves

P:QRS

QRS

PR Interval

**Rate**

What is the ventricular rate?

On a six second strip count the R waves and multiply by 10

Alternatively, you can divide 300 by the number of large squares between R waves or P waves. This method is less reliably if the rate is irregular.

**P Waves**

Are there P Waves?

What is the rate of the P wave?

What is the morphology of the P wave (upward, smooth, rounded)?

**P:QRS**

Is there a 1:1 relationship between P wave and QRS complex?

**QRS**

Are there QRS complexes?

Is the QRS width 0.06 – 0.12 seconds (1.5 – 3 small boxes)?

PR Interval

Is the PRI between 0.12 – 0.20 seconds (3 – 5 small boxes)?