Telemetry nurses live a fast-paced life—at least on the clock. If you’re a newer nurse, experience in this specialty can boost your career by honing your vital signs skills and allowing you to work with new equipment such as EKG or ECG machines.
If you’re an experienced nurse specializing in another unit, it provides a different experience and can offer a new outlook on your profession.
Whichever boat you’re in, here are some reasons you should venture into the telemetry unit and reap the professional benefits.
What Can Telemetry Nursing Offer You?
Cardiac Patient Interaction
Telemetry nurses work in a challenging environment, but travel nurses generally aren't afraid of a little challenge. Telemetry is an opportunity that offers huge rewards in terms of patient impact—the main reason many nurses become nurses in the first place.
Patients are admitted to this unit because of cardiovascular complications and the possible need for cardiac intervention, but they usually have other diagnoses as well. Tele nurses are constantly monitoring patient’s vital signs and heart rhythm during the recovery period. These nurses need to be on their toes and ready to act because they need to respond quickly to any changes in their patients’ status.
Even on a slow day, telemetry nurses are on the move. When providing individualized care for several patients at a time—while checking in new patients and discharging others—there’s not much downtime.
As a telemetry RN, you’ll experience the occasional heart-skipping incident (pun intended) where you’ll have to think quick and stay calm. Therefore, gaining skills in this unit prepares you for other high-pressure departments like ER or ICU.
Emergency Response Preparation
Many ER RNs begin their careers in telemetry because of the fast pace. The telemetry unit allows you to gain experience that can’t always be taught or trained (and hiring managers know that). Skills such as time management and prioritization—two skills that are needed in the ER—are a major focus of telemetry.
Telemetry also gives you time to adapt to the adrenaline-rush pace of an ER department. As an ER RN, you have to think fast under pressure and make sound decisions while doing so. You have this same scenario as a telemetry nurse but in smaller doses.
As an experienced ER nurse, you may consider a travel assignment in a telemetry unit to keep your skills sharp outside of the ER environment. Working with different equipment and reporting can be a nice change of pace for some.
Intensive Care Unit Preparation
On the flip side, working in the telemetry unit will teach you valuable skills used in the ICU such as being thorough, detail-oriented and organized. ICU nurses monitor their patients closely, recognize decompensation immediately and act quickly, much like a tele nurse, just on a grander scale.
Being able to multitask is another skill needed for the ICU and one you learn being a telemetry nurse. Between monitoring patients with different diagnoses and knowing how to handle each scenario, telemetry nurses gain a lot of skills in a short amount of time.
The ICU is a more structured unit, whereas the ER department can be a bit chaotic. As a telemetry nurse, you’ll learn to work in both environments, giving you a little taste of each and the opportunity to see which you prefer.
Collaborative Support Staff
The job of a telemetry nurse is multifaceted, multi-tasking and challenging. However, if it’s a good telemetry unit, it’s very much a “teamwork makes the dream work” environment. Meaning, assistance from support staff like rehabilitation nurses and CNAs is readily available to you. Bonus!
While working closely with a team, you have the chance to build your communication skills. Double bonus.
Sought After Travel Nurse Positions
If you’re a nursing student and you know you want to be a travel nurse after gaining the experience you need (which is typically two years in a hospital setting), you should research which positions are needed the most. These are the positions that have more contract assignment options available to you. We don’t know about you, but we like options.
Telemetry is one of those in-demand specialties, offering plenty of location, shift and pay packages to choose from. Same for ICU and ER positions. Keep that in mind.
What do you need to become a telemetry nurse? First, you need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and become a registered nurse. Once you’re a licensed RN, typically telemetry positions are available for new grads. Woot woot!
If you’re an experienced nurse wanting to learn new skills, sharpen the ones you already have, or have a more travel assignment options, talk to your Triage recruiter about telemetry assignments.
Like we said before, it’s an in-demand specialty for travel assignments. We have thousands available! So be sure you know what you want out of your travel assignment before you start the hunt to narrow down your choices and check the “zero regrets” box.
Schedule an appointment to chat with a Triage recruiter today about advancing your career by becoming a travel nurse.