Our Basic Tutorial introduces the principles used for reading EKGs. Each lesson include a short quiz that reinforces the lesson text. Moreover, longer cardiac rhythm drills and quizzes allow you to practice reading many types of EKGs.
What is an EKG?
An electrocardiogram or EKG, is a recording of cardiac electrical activity. An EKG machine records these electrical signals over several heart beats and produces an rhythm strip or 12 lead chart.
Summary of How to Read An EKG
A normal EKG recording consist of components which mark electrical events in the heart. These signal components are called P, Q, R, S, T and U.
The P wave is the first component and is a short upward movement on the rhythm strip. The P wave indicates atrial contraction.
The QRS complex, normally starts with a downward deflection, then a larger upwards component, then the peak (R); followed by a downwards S wave. The QRS complex represents ventricular depolarization and contraction.
The PR interval indicates the time for the electrical impulse to travel from the sinus node to the ventricles.
The final component is usually an upwards component, which is the T wave. It indicates re-polarization of the ventricles.
How To Read EKG - Drills
Practice reading EKGs by identifying tracings in a multiple choice questions and answers format. Digital calipers are available to assist in analyzing each EKG practice strip. Feedback is provided after each response.
EKG Practice Drills
Our How To Read EKG guide provides information about many types of arrhythmias. For each ECG arrhythmia we provide multiple electrocardiogram tracings. Electrocardiogram analysis is provided using a concise summary of the EKG's key features. Tracing features can be measured using our digital calipers.