Introduction to Tachycardia
Tachycardia is the medical term used to describe a rapid heart rate. The heart rate in adults is typically between 60 and 100 beats per minute (bpm). Tachycardia is defined as an increased heart rate greater than 100 bpm.
Physical Assessment: During a physical assessment, the nurse should take the patient’s vital signs and assess any physical symptoms, such as chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness.
Laboratory Tests: The nurse can order several laboratory tests to further evaluate the patient’s condition, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), cardiac enzymes, echocardiogram, and blood work.
The registered nurse can determine the nursing diagnosis based on the patient’s assessment:
- Impaired Tissue Perfusion: Cardiac related due to arrhythmia.
- Ineffective Thermoregulation: Due to increased heart rate.
- Risk for Decreased Cardiac Output: Related to underlying heart condition or arrhythmia.
- Impaired Gas Exchange: Related to increased heart rate.
- Anxiety: Secondary to tachycardia symptoms.
The practitioner will develop expected outcomes appropriate to the patient’s condition and goals. These outcomes may include:
- Regulation of heart rate: The patient’s heart rate will be controlled and maintained within the normal range.
- Tolerance of activity: The patient will be able to maintain tolerance of activity with minimal dysrhythmias.
- Reduction of stress and anxiety: The patient will be able to reduce levels of stress and anxiety.
- Education about proper management: The patient will be able to understand and practice proper management of tachycardia.
The nurse will provide interventions to address the health problems associated with the patient’s tachycardia. These interventions may include:
- Monitoring vital signs: The nurse will monitor the patient’s vital signs, including heart rate, respirations, and blood pressure.
- Medications: Administer medications as ordered to control or prevent arrhythmias.
- Lifestyle modification: Encourage the patient to modify their lifestyle habits, such as cutting back on caffeine and alcohol consumption, avoiding stress, and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Relaxation techniques: Teach the patient relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation, to help reduce symptoms of anxiety.
- Activity: Encourage the patient to participate in appropriate activities, such as walking or swimming.
The rationales behind the nursing interventions are to:
- Monitor vital signs: To identify any changes in heart rate that may occur with activity.
- Administration of medications: To reduce and control arrhythmia.
- Lifestyle modification: To identify and modify any factors that can increase the risk of tachycardia.
- Relaxation techniques: To reduce stress and anxiety.
- Activity: To promote healthy circulation.
The nurse should evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions by:
- Assessing the patient’s ability to tolerate activities.
- Monitoring changes in heart rate.
- Observing any changes in the patient’s physical state, such as decreased anxiety.
- Evaluating the patient’s understanding of disease process.
- Assessing the patient’s compliance with medication regimen.
Tachycardia is a common medical condition that is usually managed with lifestyle modifications, medications and relaxation techniques. A comprehensive nursing care plan is essential in order to ensure effective management of the condition and improved quality of life.
- What is tachycardia?
Tachycardia is defined as an increased heart rate greater than 100 bpm.
- What are the symptoms of tachycardia?
Common symptoms of tachycardia include chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness.
- Who is at risk for tachycardia?
People who are physically active, those with a family history of heart problems, and those with pre-existing cardiovascular diseases are at an increased risk for developing tachycardia.
- How is tachycardia treated?
Treatment for tachycardia includes lifestyle modifications, medications, and relaxation techniques.
- What is the goal of tachycardia nursing care plan?
The goal of a tachycardia nursing care plan is to regulate the patient’s heart rate and reduce the symptoms associated with tachycardia such as stress and anxiety.