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Cardiology: The cardiac conduction system and electrocardiograms

CPD Hours



Anatomy and physiology
Critical care and emergency nursing
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This module reviews the electrochemical processes that make the heart contract and how the cardiac conduction system initiates and controls the heartbeat. The module will also discuss how technology in healthcare has used the heart’s electrical activity to improve patient care. It will explain how heart monitors and electrocardiograms can be used to monitor and recognise changes in the heart rate and rhythm and identify cardiac abnormalities.

This module assumes a thorough understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the heart.

Learning Objective

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Understand two distinct properties of the heart: electrical and mechanical function.
  • Know how the muscle of the heart contracts.
  • Understand how electrical activity is generated in and travels through the heart.
  • Describe the steps of the action potential.
  • Identify the components of the cardiac conduction system.
  • Gain a basic understanding of how technology is used to monitor the rate and rhythm of the heart.

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