Career Definition of a Telemetry Nurse
Telemetry nurses are nurses who are specifically trained to work with patients who have serious health conditions. It's common for them to work with patients who have spent time in an intensive care unit. Their patients may have had a heart attack or they may be recovering from surgery. They concentrate on patients who have a high risk of complications from their treatment.
Part of what telemetry nurses do involves monitoring patients. They check their vital signs and they also give medicine to patients. They ensure that the patient care plan is being followed. Telemetry nurses document information about their patients' on their medical charts. They may also be required to connect a person to an IV or to other medical equipment that is used to treat or monitor them. Additionally, a telemetry nurse will help patients prepare to be discharged and teach them how to maintain their health and deal with their condition.
|Educational Requirements||Diploma, associate's degree or bachelor's degree, license, certification|
|Job Skills||Teamwork skills, communication skills, organizational skills, attention to detail, compassion, ability to teach others, physical fitness, multi-tasking skills, patience|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$58,958|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||15% (all registered nurses)|
Sources: *PayScale; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
With a diploma, associate's degree or bachelor's degree in nursing it is possible to become a registered nurse. In some cases it may be possible for any registered nurse with a license to pursue a career as a telemetry nurse but some employers do prefer nurses who have earned a bachelor's degree. After completing postsecondary training and becoming licensed it is necessary to take an exam and become a Progressive Care Certified Nurse (PCCN) to focus on a career as a telemetry nurse.
Telemetry nurses work with patients who are very ill so they need compassion and patience. They must have strong communication skills because they must interact with patients and other nurses and doctors. It's important that telemetry nurses pay attention to details so that they can promptly respond to changes in a patient's condition. They also need to be able to teach others since their work involves educating patients about their condition and how to manage it.
Career Outlook and Salary
According to PayScale, telemetry nurses took home a median salary of $58,958 per year as of 2018. Telemetry nurses are included with all registered nurses on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website. Over the ten-year period from 2016 to 2026, the BLS projects that all registered nurses will see job growth of 15%. This is notably higher than the BLS's projected average job growth rate for all occupations during that timeframe, which is expected to be 7%.
There are a number of other medical careers and nursing specialties that may appeal to those considering a future as a telemetry nurse. The articles linked to here provide more information about some alternate occupations that share similar training or duties with telemetry nurses.