Annastacia Mutindi Mbatha, Nilufa Jivraj, Lucy Wankuru Meng’anyi


Introduction: Cardiovascular disease is a global concern and a leading cause of mortality. The electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation plays a major role in monitoring and diagnosing cardiac disorders including abnormal heart rhythms.  Nurses caring for patients in the critical care units (CCUs) are therefore required to be competent in ECG interpretation and management.

Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge level of nurses on normal and abnormal ECG interpretation in the Critical Care Units, at Kenyatta National Hospital.

Methodology: A cross-sectional study design was applied. Data was collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Data coding and analysis were done using Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) version 25. Descriptive statistics were summarized in frequency tables and pie charts.  Inferential statistics were analyzed using Chi-Square. A grading score was utilized to rank the levels of knowledge on ECG interpretation as per objectives.

Results: The overall knowledge of ECG interpretation was found to be 80.9%. Knowledge of normal ECG interpretation was 85.2% while that of abnormal ECG interpretation was 72.1%.  There was a significant relationship between the social-demographic characteristics of respondents and knowledge of abnormal ECG interpretation. The age and years of experience of the respondents were statistically significant at a p-value of 0.004 and 0.008 respectively.

Conclusion: Results of this study showed a “good” level of knowledge on ECG interpretation among nurses.  A knowledge gap existed whereby some abnormal ECG variables were interpreted below 70% which denotes an “unsatisfactory” level.  Periodic scheduling of Continuous education programs (CPD) like Advanced Cardiac Life Support courses (ACLS) is recommended to enhance the knowledge level of nurses on ECG interpretation in the CCUs.

Keywords: Knowledge, ECG, Interpretation, Nurses, Critical care





Knowledge, ECG, Interpretation, Nurses, Critical care

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