02.01 The EKG (ECG) Graph

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Overview

  1. The EKG graph represents the electrical conduction of the heart
  2. Assists with identifying heart rate and rhythm

Nursing Points

General

  1. EKG graph
    1. Y-axis – Vertical
      1. Voltage
      2. 1 large box
        1. 0.5mV
    2. X-axis -Horizontal
      1. Time in seconds
    3. Large box
      1. 0.20 Seconds
    4. Smaller boxes
      1. 0.04 seconds
    5. Markings
      1. Top of graph paper
      2. 3 seconds apart

Nursing Concepts

  1. EKG Rhythms

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Video Transcript

Hey guys in this lesson we are going to break down the EKG graph paper

Ok so here we have an EKG graph, we have our Y axis which is the vertical line and it measures the voltage. One large box is 0.5 millivolts. This is important when measuring the amplitude of the waveforms, especially when there is an elevation that should not be there, like in a STEMI. We also have our X axis which is the horizontal line and it measures time in seconds. As you can see, there are big boxes and in each big box there are 5 small boxes. The big box is 0.20 seconds and the smaller one is 0.04 seconds. So let’s break that down a little more!

So here is a big box, again from here to here is 0.20 seconds, if you look at these smaller boxes, they are each 0.04 seconds. There are 5 small boxes in 1 big box. If you multiply each box that is 0.04 seconds by 5 it equals 0.20 seconds. The seconds in these boxes are important when you have to identify how long it takes for one waveform to get to the other. At the top of this paper, you will also see these markings, these markings are usually every 3 seconds but in this particular graph they are every second, the markings are not always there. So if you have an EKG paper that does not have the markings at the top just know that 5 large boxes is 1 second, 15 boxes are 3 and 30 boxes are 6 seconds. So knowing that will help you identify if you are looking at a 6 second strip.

So the key points to remember are the Y- axis is the vertical line and it measures voltage, basically how high are the waveforms getting. The x-axis is the horizontal line which measures seconds. The large boxes have 5 smaller boxes in them, the large box is 0.20 seconds and the Small boxes are 0.04 seconds. Each EKG graph paper has markings at the top and they are 3 seconds apart. I hope this has helped yall identifying the lines on the graph paper!

Make sure you check out all of the resources attached to this lesson. Now, go out and be your best self today! And, as always, happy nursing!

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  • Question 1 of 2

When analyzing an electrocardiogram graph paper, the student nurse understands that there are how many small boxes in a row for each large box?

  • Question 2 of 2

A student nurse is studying an electrocardiogram graph paper and understands the small boxes measure how many seconds?