Thyroid UK
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How to scare a patient!

Hi, went to hospital yesterday for an ecg on GPs instructions following several incidences of tachychardia (resting heart rate going too quickly). The girl doing the test put on all the electrodes and started running the machine. She pulled out the reading, frowned and then jiggled all the leads and then did it again, and then again. suddenly another voice came from around the curtain asking "Are you alright in there?" upon which the nurse grabbed the three printouts and went away. I then heard her say " There's something wrong, I can't understand these readings, what are all these weird wobbly bits?"

Imagine my relief when I heard the supervisor reply, "Oh, that's just muscle tremour!" I guess the girl isn't quite ready for the job yet! I just hope she didn't hear me giggling!

4 Replies

Lol! Poor girl! Must have given you a bit of a scare though!

Carolyn x


agree with carolynB , but the thing that concerns me is extremely profound ...... this just goes to prove that there are some people in the profession [ nursing / doctors etc ] that SHOULD NOT BE THERE IF THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING or indeed have received the CORRECT training for the work they are actually doing .....and obviously this nurse didn't know what she was fully doing or what she was looking at I say it does concern me because in some cercumstances this could prove to be life threatening ......alan x


I assume that she was still being trained, Alan, as she was under supervision from the other member of staff who was in the room the whole time, although on the other side of the curtain.

I know there are often things that medical staff haven't come across before and have to consult with colleagues. Recently when my Dad died of cancer, his x-rays were so bizarre they had to be sent to 3different hospitals to be interpreted as a combination of bone tb contracted after the war, and then bone cancer on top meant he had bones missing in some places and extra bones in others. The staff at the local hospital had never seen results like it.

The girl, bless her, was competent enough at administering the test, she just didn't have enough experience to interpret an unexpected result, that's all. :)


Hi A normal ECG is fairly useless for what you describe. May be Atrial Fibrillation, which is normally intermittent. You need a home heart monitor, GP or hospital. 7 days if possible but may be 24 hours, not so good.It is only clear on an ECG if happens to be done at the right time, near impossible, or monitored the same as at home on an ECG is important to be sure.



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