12-Lead ECG training: The way forward
The teaching of electrocardiography (ECG) monitoring has not changed for decades and still very much relies on access to real patients for practice. However there is nowadays an even greater need for modern training tools in this field as more healthcare professionals than ever before need to be trained on 12-lead ECG monitoring techniques. For example in many parts of the country ambulance paramedics use features observed from 12-lead ECG monitoring equipment to determine whether or not a patient can receive pre-hospital thrombolytic therapy. Because important decisions are made without the presence of a cardiologist, it is essential that the training is carried out with the most realistic tools, including tools which give realistic feedback of the consequences of incorrect electrode replacement. Current mannequins for ECG training are designed with protruding electrodes on the chest, which act as cues for trainees. There is therefore a need for a realistic simulation training tool to teach 12-lead ECG interpretation which includes the ability to give this feedback. We are currently working on the development of such a training tool and it is expected that it will be of great interest to medical, nursing and paramedic schools.