- If the rhythm varies by less than two small boxes, then the rhythm is considered regular.
- The heart rate determination technique used will be the 1500 technique.
- Starting at the beginning of the tracing through the end, measure from one R wave to the next R wave (ventricular assessment), then P wave to P wave (atrial assessment), then count the number of small boxes between each and divide that number into 1500.
- This technique will give you the most accurate heart rate when analyzing regular heart rhythms. You may include ½ of a small box i.e. 37.5/1500 = 40 bpm (don’t forget to round up or down if a portion of a beat is included in the answer).
- If the rhythm varies by two small boxes or more, the rhythm is considered “irregular”.
- The heart rate determination technique used for irregular rhythms will be the “six-second technique”.
- Simply count the number of complete cardiac complexes in six seconds and multiply by ten.